The Big Roar - The Joy Formidable

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Feb 11, 2011
    The welsh trio have taken their time to reach this point, but with The Big Roar they have taken their opportunity with great style, producing what I think is a mature, clever and exceptionally listenable record from start to finish--and that's a mighty thing.
  2. Feb 11, 2011
    The eagerly anticipated album from London based indie-rock three-piece The Joy Formidable far exceeds all expectation.
  3. 80
    The Big Roar is the kind of epic-yet-intimate debut that does exactly what its title makes out in the most tactful of styles; an LP that ultimately delivers on every count on the four years of promise leading up to it.
  4. The height of popularity for this music may have come in the first half of the last decade when bands like fellow British trios Feeder and Muse were at their peak, but music this enjoyable never becomes unpopular, especially when it's done this well.
  5. Dec 8, 2011
    It's an appealing, bombastic hybrid of '90s nostalgia, and anything less than audience ear drum obliteration is not an option.
  6. Mar 31, 2011
    It's dizzying, and you'll want off at times, but you'll likely ask to ride again.
  7. Mar 24, 2011
    For an album that felt to many like a long time coming, The Big Roar proves more than worthy of the wait.
  8. Mar 22, 2011
    It's as good an introduction to the band as those 2008 singles were; sometimes thrilling, sometimes disappointing, but always formidable.
  9. Mar 21, 2011
    Say this for The Joy Formidable's debut effort, The Big Roar: It tells no lies and seeks no modest ambitions.
  10. They have dared to venture in the loud, the textured and the big sounds, instead of the more minimal, tangy and clean indie rock we are hearing far too much of these days.
  11. Mar 17, 2011
    Welsh rock trio The Joy Formidable gives us a roar that makes things of the '90s seem modern again.
  12. Mar 15, 2011
    There's a right way and a wrong way to write anthems in the early 21st century, and the Joy Formidable -- with only three bandmembers present -- find themselves on the right side of the dividing line during the majority of this debut.
  13. Mar 14, 2011
    The Joy Formidable has been backed with the recording budget to fully realize their vision. They're a band with ideas, perhaps a little too much confidence in them, and one that's benefitted from an album clearly assembled by expert hands.
  14. Mar 11, 2011
    There's no denying the Joy Formidable's passion, vigor, and pop smarts; it would just be easier to appreciate those qualities if The Big Roar didn't so often sound like a big blur.
  15. Mar 9, 2011
    The riffs are more memorable than the songs, you say? Does it really matter?
  16. Mar 7, 2011
    "Turn the dial on my words," she suggests, and the band's glorious noise obliges time and again.
  17. Feb 11, 2011
    Bolt on an undeniably zealous execution, a set of simple yet well-written songs, add an element of confident adventure via some experimentation and diversity and the rebirth of indie may just have found its leading protagonists.
  18. Feb 11, 2011
    Some pruning could have tightened all this up, especially as the band's songs speak volumes for themselves. Nevertheless, The Big Roar is a powerful signal of intent and a fantastic debut.
  19. Feb 11, 2011
    As a complete body of work, the album stumbles in very few places.
  20. Feb 11, 2011
    The Big Roar has been some time in coming, but it has been well worth the wait. This could finally be The Joy Formidable's year.
  21. Feb 11, 2011
    Its shortcomings are thrown into relief by its brisk and taut successor, The Magnifying Glass. After 50 minutes of unyielding assault, The Big Roar will leave the uncommitted whimpering.
  22. Jun 8, 2011
    Unfortunately, The Big Roar can't sustain the love affair over 12 tracks. [May 2011, p.85]
  23. Mar 1, 2011
    It's equally ambitious, forceful and joyous as Courtney Love's high water mark. [Feb 2011, p.118]
  24. Feb 14, 2011
    Under the bluster, though, frontman Ritzy Bryan adds a consistent emotional intensity best heard on "Cradle," reminiscent ofg Lush at their most bruised and bruising. [Mar 2011, p.93]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 14, 2011
    This is not a versatile album, in the sense that you won't be given a whole lot of breathing room, but The Joy Formidable succeed in out-muscling the tattooed guitar bands who undeservedly carry that reputation. And before you think them another possible product for frat-house drunkards, take note that "The Big Roar" handles its big roar with more elegance, agility and grace than we are accustomed to hearing from electric instruments. And who would be ballsy enough to start an album, let alone the sets of their current tour, with an anthem, "The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie", that pushes nearly eight minutes? But after, there is no letdown. The Welsh trio has the energy and the smarts to continue their pulsating adrenaline rush for another forty. The loud and aggressive guitars and bass are pillowed atop such lovely ambiance that a full play-through leads to a feeling not unlike a waking dream. So it can be forgiven if, at the end of the album's closing stunner "The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade", you choose to re-submerge into their imagined world rather than, once again, taking on your own. Full Review »
  2. Mar 19, 2011
    The hardened, accelerated riffs and floor thudding bass rhythms bear a resemblance to their early 90s influences, but with Ritzy Bryan's powerful melodies there's an ambitious aesthetic that encompasses Indie/pop. The amalgam of slow burning intensity and primal, explosive head numbing power is pitched just right, and is fully realized on the magnificent "Whirring". Full Review »
  3. May 12, 2013
    This band I had first heard about when they preformed on last call. After listening to "A Balloon Called Moaning" I decided to check out the Big Roar. I was very impressed with their sound and how much I liked this album. They have a very alternative rock sound. From the first track "The Ever Changing Spectrum of a Lie", the album captures you. I would strongly recommend this to any alternative rock fan as a great album. Can't wait to see what they do next! Full Review »