The Joy Formidable: AAARTH (Seradom) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, June 13th, 2021  

The Joy Formidable



Sep 25, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The new album by The Joy Formidable is being self-released on their own label Seradom. Whatever the reason for AAARTH (an aggressive-sounding title I’m sure you’ll agree) being released in this way, one thing is abundantly clear from the outset: the freedom suits The Joy Formidable. This is without a shadow of a doubt their best album since The Big Roar, the first to prioritize rock and roll for the sake of rock and roll over a desire for pop hooks or radio attention (say I, as a total outsider) and AAARTH is all the better for it.

Everything that is great about this standout and important Welsh band has been amplified (geddit?) beyond any level previously attained. “Y Bluen Eira” starts hypnotically before a crashing riff signals the band’s intent. Things never take a backward step from there. “Go Loving” is a driving mix of riffs and lovely chromatic chordal and melodic shifts. “All in All” grows into the rock song of the summer with a truly stunning coda in which the band fully let rip. And the closing track “Caught on a Breeze” is the kind of thing Muse came to prominence writing, a short, sharp blast of guitar rock magic which brings the record into land beautifully.

Only “What For” and “The Better Me” stop this record being a true sky-scraper, the former taking too long to get to its powerful climax and then not making enough of it and the latter a little too mid-tempo for these tastes and using progressions which are tried and tested for this band. To nit-pick in this way might seem churlish and both tracks could be the favorite of other listeners, but it merely serves to emphasize how much potential this important band has and how close they are to fully realizing it. Do not miss this album. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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