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Oh The Joy (Formidable)!

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 4, 2011 6:00PM

In 2008 we managed to get our hands on a seven-inch that instantly transported us back to a time when MTV actually played music videos and Alternative Nation rocked its airwaves every Sunday night. Being that we are suckers for nostalgia and all things '90s, UK natives,The Joy Formidable, and their irrepressibly energetic single Austere instantly charmed us and began making its way to the office turntable pretty regularly. We anxiously awaited more from these sprightly pop-sters and a year later the EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, arrived stateside from their native isle of Whales. Filled with crunchy UK alterna-anthems, this EP is meant to be played so loud it your neighbors will come a knocking.

When the group, led by the towheaded, unrestrained guitarist and lead vocalist Ritzy Bryan, released a retooled full-length release stateside on Atlantic records, we rejoiced in what was a great collaboration between a small band and a big label. The Big Roar, awash with layer upon layer of swelling, Billy Corgan style guitar and a Veruca Salt pop sensibility, has managed to win our hearts just as much as that first single did with its undying commitment to just plain rock your socks off.

Though little mention of them has been made on this side of the pond, the group has garnered quite a following in Europe, which led the group opening for Sir Paul McCartney at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and several well-received festival spots in Leeds and Glastonbury. Tomorrow they bring their stadium-sized sound to Lincoln Hall's smaller stage. We recommend you join us front row with some earplugs and take in what will be a boisterous express train back to indie-rock's mid'90s heyday.

The Joy Formidable, plays Tuesday, April 5, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave., 9 p.m., $13, 18+