Hitch, the third studio album from alt-rockers The Joy Formidable can be described in three words: massive anthemic rock. Since their debut release in 2010 of A Balloon Called Moaning, the Welsh trio has grown into a force to be reckoned with. Ritzy Bryan (lead vocals/guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass), and Matthew James Thomas (drums) decided to self-produce Hitch on their own in hopes of returning to the roots and mood of their earlier releases.
Hitch wastes no time getting off the ground with opening track “A Second In White”, punctuates by Bryan’s beautifully distorted Stratocaster wailing throughout the entire track. In fact, the entire album is highlighted by Bryan’s masterfully-crafted guitar riffs including festival tent-rock ready “Radio of Lips”, and the emotionally driven “It’s Started”. “The Brook” and “Underneath the Petal” display the band’s intentional focus on experimentation for this release while evoking the sounds of ancient Welsh folk music.
The album’s single “The Last Thing On My Mind” is the strongest track of Hitch and truly displays the magic that is The Joy Formidable–three perfectly in sync bandmates and masterful rock n’ roll songwriting. Hitch is an evolutionary step in the right direction for a band who has already proven themselves as one of the most important rock acts of this generation and for years to come.
[This review was handcrafted by Nashville ex-ex-pat Luke Ziegler; when he’s not shaping the minds of children in the classroom or coaching middle school bowling or cross-country, he makes music of his own.]