The Joy Formidable: The Big Roar

The long-awaited debut from the euphoric Welsh indie kids.

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Shoegazey rockers TJF were meant to tear ethereal noise-pop a new wormhole way back in 2008, but only managed to give it a mild molecular wobble with eight-track taster A Balloon Called Moaning the following year.

It garnered impressive comparisons to The Breeders, Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but no plaudits for remoulding space pop as we know it.

Frustratingly, two years on, the (albeit brilliant) standout tracks on this debut full-length are still those salvaged from the mini album: the cooing propeller pop of Austere, Cradle and Whirring and the galactic ache of The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade, recalling a chart-friendly Sigur Rós.

Nonetheless, wrapped in Ritzy Bryan’s opaque goth-rom poetry, The Big Roar expands TJF’s sonic palate to take in fuzzcore punk (Chapter 2, The Magnifying Glass), glacial pop sunbursts (The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie, Buoy, I Don’t Want To See You Like This) and pounding epic rock (A Heavy Abacus).

A long-delayed launch, then, but TJF blast for the stars with all engines firing. So long, noise/pop continuum.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle (opens in new tab).