Review: ‘I Don’t Want To See You Like This’

In a chat to Cherwell this week, The Joy Formidable’s guitarist Rhydian Dafydd highlighted the Welsh trio’s old-fashioned way of gaining popularity: ‘I think people can see through new bands’ bullshit now. We certainly haven’t relied on the hype machine. We’ve been gigging and gigging all around the country and our fanbase has grown from that.’

It’s been working for them, and with debut LP The Big Roar now set to be released in January, Welsh noise-rockers The Joy Formidable have released ‘I Don’t Want To See You Like This’. It’s a solid example of the band’s sound – Ritzy Bryan’s waiflike, ethereal vocals against a backdrop of reverberating guitar-mashing. It graces you with a few moments of tranquillity, before cruelly assaulting your aural neurones with ear-splitting hooks.

On this track, however, the overall effect can sound quite stop-start, with lines of verse sung too quietly and too quickly. Combined with two good but rather curtailed bridges, the overall effect is at times jarring. However, it certainly shows promise from a group who, after nearly three years together, are finally enjoying a rise in popularity on these shores and across the Atlantic.