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The Joy Formidable/Nights 

When: Fri., July 12, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $18 ADV, $20 DOS
The Joy Formidable is an imposing Welsh force. Debut album The Big Roar showcases a band willing to dive deep, deep, deep into that alluring stew of heaviness and ambience. The major single, “Whirring,” holds up as a terrific emblem of what the band does well: Combine heartfelt and careful songwriting with explosive musicianship. (Dial up KEXP’s recording of the tune on the ol’ YouTube for a taste of what you’re in for at tonight’s gig.) Last year’s Wolf’s Law was a strong return to form, though there was little in the way of an expansion on the band’s monumental sound. Contrast “Cholla” and “Tendons” for an idea of the band’s dalliances with dynamics. Guitarist and singer Ritzy Bryan — perhaps the Western world’s most unassuming badass — positively shreds as she casts wild eyes across the crowd. Bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matthew James Thomas round out the trio, which often sounds more like a 12-piece tsunami of sound. Expect awesomeness. (Eric Sandy)

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