The Big Roar
Some of the songs on the The Big Roar have been floating around for so long that it has the curious feel of a debut album and greatest hits record rolled into one. The Joy Formidable may have signed up to Atlantic but, thankfully, they haven't compromised their indie sound in a bid to broaden commercial appeal. If anything the production on the Big Roar gives it an, unexpectedly, hard edge. The swooning melodies and multiple crescendos most evident on old favourites Whirring and Cradle are still prevalent but be prepared for a sonic onslaught. Newer tunes such as The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie, The Magnifying Glass and A Heavy Abacus have a heavier, less immediate, appeal reminiscent of the more insidious strain in the Smashing Pumpkins. There are quieter moments here too. Maruyama and Llaw = Wall, temporarily halt the guitar tsunami and offer welcome textural variety. The album ends triumphantly with two of its strongest songs Chapter 2 and live favourite The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade. The Big Roar is an assured debut and well worth the extended incubation period.