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A Balloon Called Moaning

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Album Review

The Joy Formidable, the name adopted by the Welsh trio of Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd Davies, and Matt Thomas, suggests that of Joy Division, and on their debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, the musicians also recall Joy Division's post-punk style on driving tracks that find Bryan chant-singing her impressionistic lyrics over them in almost arbitrary fashion. The music is somewhat lighter and often faster than typical Joy Division, and Bryan's female voice is also lighter than that of Ian Curtis. Where he was portentous, she is merely ponderous, her lines coming out as if fragments of a stream of consciousness. The music can build up quite a head of steam in its relentlessness, particularly on the longer tracks, such as "The Greatest Light Is the Greatest Shade" and "Ostrich." On the basis of their first half-hour of recorded music, the Joy Formidable are both a look back at an earlier sound and a development of the post-punk style of the late ‘70s 30 years later.


Formed: 2007 in Mold, Wales

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After spending several years with the post-punk outfit Sidecar Kisses, vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd left the lineup and launched the Joy Formidable, drawing heavily from shoegaze and noisy alt-rock to create their new group's sound. Formed in North Wales in 2007, the band later resettled in London, where original drummer Justin Stahley was replaced by Matt Thomas. The Joy Formidable began building a buzz in 2008, making appearances at several British festivals and earning...
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A Balloon Called Moaning, The Joy Formidable
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