The Joy Formidable-Wolf’s Law


In November of 2010 I was given the opportunity to interview The Joy Formidable during their first headlining your of the US. Their mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning had come out in April, and they were already receiving a lot of buzz ahead of their full-length follow up, The Big Roar. They were really sweet and obviously generous with their time. I spent about 20 minutes with them, and it’s one of my favorite interviews I’ve done.

I walked away from our time thinking two things: 1. This band’s chemistry is amazing and 2. If they stick together for a while, they’re gonna be huge. It didn’t take long for that second one to manifest itself. A few months later The Joy Formidable took SxSw by storm, and they haven’t looked back since. Upon their return to Chicago they moved up to playing Metro, and now on April 2nd they’ll be headlining at The Vic. They’re a great success story and I hope it continues for a long, long time.

Back in February I posted my initial top ten for the year, and Wolf’s Law made it easily. I never got around to actually reviewing it, though. I think that stemmed from the release process being so drawn out. They finished recording in early 2012 and then spaced out three singles ahead of its eventual January 22 release. The track “This Ladder Is Ours,” which opens the album, did make my Top 100 Songs of 2012.

What I like about Wolf’s Law is that it throws caution to the wind and just goes for it. The ideas are bigger, the guitars are louder, and the group seems to have really coalesced into a finely tuned machine. That said, the record rests in the capable hands of Ritzy Bryan as lead singer/guitarist. She uses this opportunity to prove once again that the ladies can rock just as hard as the guys.

My favorite tune from this new release is “Maw Maw Song.” It’s a huge arena rocker made to be played at the highest possible volume. This track showcases the biggest difference from early Joy Formidable, which is the drumming of Matt Thomas. He joined up after A Balloon Called Moaning was released, and he’s definitely a step up from Justin Stahley (who was a very good drummer anyway).

There’s a lot to be excited about on Wolf’s Law. They’ve trimmed away most of the fat and made an album that is still somewhat sprawling but never boring. If you haven’t yet, I would recommend you do yourself a favor and check them out. They have a ton of tour dates around the country before heading overseas in June. Don’t miss an opportunity for a great night of music.

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