Wolf's Law - The Joy Formidable

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Overall, Wolf's Law largely oversteps the sophomore slump.
  2. Jan 25, 2013
    Wolf's Law, the second studio album from The Joy Formidable, finds the Welsh trio building upon its already gargantuan sound with remarkable aplomb.
  3. 80
    Thanks to such marked songwriting growth, Wolf's Law cements the Joy Formidable as a ferocious rock act and as a band with plenty to say. [Feb 2013, p.89]
  4. Oct 4, 2013
    Wolf's Law swings as hard as The Big Roar, the difference being the aim. Regardless, it's a blast to blow out your speakers with.
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    It's this tightrope between bruised self-doubt and fun blasts of noise that gives Wolf's Law its emotional heft.
  6. You can’t help but admire their ambition, but their tendency to overreach is inhibiting them from becoming the band they want and deserve to be.
  7. Jan 22, 2013
    With consistently strong songwriting and an intrepid grasp on its own talent, the Joy Formidable has in Wolf's Law a near-perfect follow-up record: it moves the band forward while staying true to what made it appealing and exciting in the first place.
  8. Feb 7, 2013
    Ritzy Bryan’s choruses are as sturdy as they need to be and the songs are an improvement upon those on The Big Roar because they’re lither and punchier, packing more hairpin turns into shorter run times.
  9. 60
    Yes, face The Joy Formidable's something and it's better than most. Just don't dig too deep for what that something is.
  10. Jan 17, 2013
    Its clarity, confidence, and cohesion set it apart from their debut which had room for improvement on those fronts.
  11. Jan 17, 2013
    Sounding big may be a pretty good way to get a support slot with the biggest bands in the country and, in time, the world, but after a point you need more to say.
  12. Jan 22, 2013
    Unlike their debut-which could sometimes have moments equivalent to loud machine-gun fire, occasionally hitting its intended target but blurring together and exhausting itself--the tracks on Wolf's Law are like laser-guided rocket blasts, tighter and more effective.
  13. Feb 11, 2013
    In amongst their sleeker, poppier, but still hard-hitting grooves, they're not afraid to tackle big issues, either. [26 Jan 2013, p.55]
  14. Feb 1, 2013
    It’s a confused collection of songs, but there are enough gems here to suggest that they’ll come good soon enough.
  15. 60
    The prime intention of Wolf's Law is to overwhelm with bluster, muscle and noise, to orchestrate us clean out of our boots.
  16. Jan 24, 2013
    Despite rarely achieving all of what it goes for, it's hard to deny the sheer pleasure of getting the enormous hooks and noise that are constantly on display here.
  17. Jan 31, 2013
    Subtlety isn't the band's forte, but they sure know how to make an ostensibly stripped-down rock song enormous.
  18. Jan 23, 2013
    All but a few tracks could be touted as a single, though in the same breath, it is hard to pick a standout from them, their defining moments tied to a choice on their pedal board.
  19. Jan 24, 2013
    The Joy Formidable might not have the most plausible ambitions for a 21st century rock band. But Wolf's Law offers enough thrills to suspend your disbelief.
  20. Jan 22, 2013
    The Joy Formidable proves on Wolf's Law that it can create grandeur and awe by letting contrast and touch speak volumes more than overpowering brute force can.
  21. 67
    While Wolf’s Law has a few lulls, such as the syrupy, “The Turnaround,” and some of the prog moments like “The Leopard and the Lung,” run too long, the best moments shine.
  22. 80
    Wolf's Law doesn't expand on the Joy Formidable's sound so much as it cements their sound.
  23. Jan 24, 2013
    All too often the joy is forgettable. [Feb 2013, p.106]
  24. Jan 22, 2013
    At times, it feels like they're glue-gunning hot ideas rather than writing fully realized songs, but they've come up with some fine Frankensteins nonetheless.
  25. Jan 22, 2013
    The best tricks and riffs from The Big Roar are culled and sewn back together to lukewarm effect, but the lack of innovation and variation is disappointing.
  26. Jan 23, 2013
    The songs that collapse under their own weight find the band struggling to feel epic, but Wolf's Law still soars when the band struggles instead with epic feelings.
  27. Jan 22, 2013
    The songs on this album are echoing, but not distant; they connect on a personal level, and then pull the listener along in a mighty heave.
  28. Jan 9, 2013
    The studio remains the band's fourth member and their wind-tunnel intensity is a constant. The compositions are more focused this time round, however, while quiet-loud dynamic shifts are more arresting.
  29. Jan 17, 2013
    This is one for speakers, not headphones, a great dense whoosh of music that makes you feel like the bloke in the old Maxell tapes advert.
  30. 90
    This second album is less of a record than an experience. You truly get a sense of cosmic alignment here.
  31. Jan 9, 2013
    The Joy Formidable continue to keep British rock sexily sturdy. [Feb 2013, p.74]
  32. Jan 9, 2013
    The album begins very much where The Big Roar left off, thundering its way through five noisy screeds without much variety in pace or power, However, halfway through Wolf's Law, The Joy Formidable veer off its beaten path. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.87]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 1, 2013
    Not a very good album. For an album that goes out of its way to be perceived as not just another run of mill rock album (lavish strings and synths, massive drums, long and sustained whammied guitar solos, etc) it really just falls flat on its face and is quite boring and average. There was very little substance and I didn't feel the need to ever listen to this album again. Full Review »
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    FINALLY After years of dull indie rock, we have an album that breaks free of all the genre trappings, does it's own thing and just sticks it's soul out there for everyone to see. I love this album.. in a sea of mediocrity it stands out as spectacular from the first note to the last. I hope The Joy Formidable are around for a long time because this album is sublime. Full Review »
  3. Jan 29, 2013
    Poorly produced. The drums, strings, and keys all sound digitally done. Worst of all is the way they ruined her voice. She seems to have recorded a bunch of tracks for each vocal in different keys, but they are all mixed at the same level so you can't really hear how she actually sounds. A big step down from The Big Roar. This is what happens when bands self produce. Full Review »