Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
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The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
Tom Jones is awesome.
I could, and probably should, just end this week’s Music Monday with that statement; but let's dig a little deeper. I’ve always been a fan of his well-dressed, on-stage swagger. His self-aware entertainer persona always keeping his machismo in check. I have seen the Welsh Superstar many times in concert, and have always left feeling as if I have seen a true master of his craft. Tom Jones made a career of taking rock and roll songs, and doing his own spin on them. Making them more palatable for a new mature audience. Much the same way white performers of the 50’s would make versions of African American rhythm and blues songs. Well, Mr. Jones would bridge the age gap as well, always picking current songs the “kids” were into these days. I still remember the joy I felt hearing him Jonesize a version of “Shelter” by a “young” band called Cinderella to the Matlock-loving crowd. On the back cover of his I (Who Have Nothing) album, he is standing on a green mountaintop in Wales (looking so cool). The header says “Wales, the Land of Song. This is my homeland; where I was born and raised - Tom”. Is it officially the Land of Song? I don’t know, but I am sure not going to argue with Mr. Jones (and no Counting Crow wisecracks, show some respect). And, I now have proof of more great music coming from Wales to bolster his claim. I digress, so without further ado, Ladies and Gentleman meet The Joy Formidable.
I am a little late to The Joy Formidable party, but they have a great full length studio debut album that was released in January, 2011. The aptly titled The Big Roar (Atlantic Records) is a great album from this ferocious power trio. Led by vocalist/guitarist and awesomely named Ritzy Bryan, and consonant heavy unpronouncably named bassist Rhydian Dafydd, The Joy Formidable have a thick heavy sound that cranks up the guitar and lets the drummer (Matt Thomas) bring out the big sticks. Here is the video for their song “A Heavy Abacus” -
One great thing about The Joy Formidable is that theirs’ is a sound of precision. This is not a sloppy guitar crank band. Rather, they combine wall of sound guitar with driving jerking rhythms to show some true rock muscle reminiscent of Quicksand or Jawbox. Flipping the script and adding female vocals over the top just adds an extra unique layer to the cake. All that emotion, and they also throw five dollar words at you like “abacus”, “austere” and “buoy”. Check them tearing the roof off of a bike shop with their song “Whirring” -
A solid debut album (expect the follow up in January, 2013) from a tight, powerful sounding band. And I imagine these songs must sound great live. So crank up your lifestyle and make sure to get a jolt of The Joy Formidable in your life.
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- last week - Jens Lekman
- last month - Elvis
- last season - Metric
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