Some of the tracks on ‘Passage’ – the debut album by married duo Exitmusic – feel like post-rock vignettes, the grandeur and majesty of that genre compressed into bite-sized, accessible chunks. ‘Stars’, for instance, lacks the length but has some of the character of a Godspeed You Black Emperor! track; deceptively slow and dirge-like to begin with, it evolves into something urgent yet indistinct, its half-developed nuances like shadows dancing on the periphery of your vision. Elsewhere there’s the pounding drums and cracked vocals of the slightly Arcade Fire-esque ‘White Noise’, while the crashing waves of ‘Sparks Of Light’ close the record to Aleksa Palladino’s lisping, breathy vocals that wash over an echoing backdrop that keeps threatening to drop into a full-on apocalyptic climax. By turns fiery and reflective, this is a superb debut.

By Chris Watkeys

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