Man Without Country are actually two men from South Wales, with a fondness for the shimmering, glacial sweeps of M83 and Sigur Ros – which is just as well, given that they’ve hired M83 and Sigur Ros producer Ken Thomas to mix their debut LP. And Thomas appears to have done the job he was hired for: ‘Foe’ has towering peaks, washes upon washes of blissed-out synth and generally indecipherable vocals swathed in reverb.

Occasionally it all comes together to create huge, sad monsters of songs, not least in the impressive opening and closing tracks. Elsewhere, though, the album’s maximalism comes at the expense of musical sensitivity, and leaves it gasping for some subtlety amongst the majesty, not least on the penultimate epic ‘Parity’, which ends up sounding more like 10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ than the bleak, soaring ballad to which it seems to aspire.

By Sam Walton

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