So-so in Soho
The Joy Formidable, after three years, has proffered their third album, Hitch. Hitch plays out rather well, at times feeling like a musical with its lyrics and track progression and other times feeling like an actual rock album. Their lead single, “The Last Thing on My Mind,” in spite of its 35 second intro of arbitrary conversation, is melodically solid and the strongest track on the album. Upbeat and smoky, it has a steady drive and is a good song to hum, especially with the effected scatting after each chorus from singer/guitarist, Ritzy Bryan. A particularly unique track however would have to be “The Gift.” It jars you out of the stupor from the rest of the album, starting with some off keyboards. The song is sung by Rhydian Dafydd, the bass player of the band, and is simple, sweet, and sports a super sexy guitar solo. Though not as long as most other tracks, it is three minutes and twenty seconds of nigh bliss.
If you were to categorize specifically what this album sounds like, it is a clothing outlet soundtrack, coming through on the little speakers while you decide if you look better with this shirt in sand or taupe. The album itself is mind-numbing, easily ignorable, and ideal for a day where you only need something, anything as background noise. While harsh to say, the excitement or hype factor one expects from an album classified as rock of any kind is not there, leaving one with an overall “meh” feeling by the end of it all. Sure, Ritzy has a splendid smoky voice. Sure, the guitar and bass are solid and in the pocket for the most part. Yes, the drummer, Matthew James Thomas and bassist Rhydian Dafydd are pretty wonderful. It is truly regrettable that, despite all of these fantastic factors, the combination created a flat, uninteresting album.