The new album by The Joy Formidable is being self-released on their own label Seradom. Whatever the reason for AAARTH (an aggressive-sounding title I'm sure you'll agree) being released in this way, one thing is abundantly clear from the outset: the freedom suits The Joy Formidable. This is without a shadow of a doubt their best album since The Big Roar, the first to prioritize rock and roll for the sake of rock and roll over a desire for pop hooks or radio attention (say I, as a total outsider) and AAARTH is all the better for it.
The Joy Formidable have always prided themselves on being a guitar band, even at a moment in time when that particular instrument wasn't exactly de rigueur. On their first two records, they wore it well; there was no modesty about either 2011 debut 'The Big Roar' or its follow-up, 'Wolf's Law', two years later. The former was designed for arenas from the ground up, with the requisite heart to offset accusations of cynicism and win them support slots to Muse and Foo Fighters, whilst the latter had them decamping to the States to turn in an ambitious, multi-faceted second effort.