Rating: ★★★½ (out of four)
On its second album, Joy Formidable went epic.
Like Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars or other bands influenced by prog and space rock, they smash into every song, most of which would fit as theme music to a sci-fi space battle.
“This Ladder Is Ours” will slam you into the heights of the album and songs such as “Cholla” and “Bats” will keep you on that high through the album’s first half.
In the middle comes “Silent Treatment.” With a finger-picked acoustic melody and heavily-layered vocals, it is the best song on the record and easily the quietest.
You’ll feel the heavy influence of Pink Floyd (though sped-up to a fast house-music beat) on “Maw Maw Song” but the whole thing turns on its ear with a progressive jam that closes out the nearly seven-minute song.
Though I liked the band before, I’ve been pulled in by its progression to an even bigger sound on their second effort. Not being afraid to go big has meant this band is running free with their sound.
And they’ll take you along for a ride. You could end up jamming to “The Leopard and the Lung” and dancing to “The Hurdle.”