NEW ALBUM: Man Without Country – Maximum Entropy
Behind the somewhat confusing name Man Without Country is a musician duo, comprised of Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf, with live show support from Mike Monaghan on drums/percussions. They’re hailing from South Wales and seem to like their country in the country of Great Britain – despite their band name. Without having known anything about the two, I enjoyed very much browsing through their tumblr blog, which provides a compelling glimpse into the life of a band on tour or recording.
As with their debut album Foe, they again recorded their second full length album, Maximum Entropy, entirely themselves in their own studio in South Wales. Maximum Entropy opens quite lush and welcoming, with sweeping synthesizer melodies, embraces and welcomes. Yet the second song already, is more muted and hints that not all is gold that glitters. The third song then, Laws of Motion featuring White Sea (aka Morgan Kibby) is again grande, pop and upbeat. Turns out, this seems to be the overall theme and pattern of the album: full, sweeping synthesizer pulling all registers followed by quiet, more minimalistic tracks.
A standout is certainly Loveless Marriage, a minimalistic, dark song that makes it almost painstakingly clear what this would feel like. Luckily, I am happily married and simply move on to other cheerful tracks like Deadsea or Oil Spill. (It’s not all dark!) My personal favorite track on this album is however Romanek closely followed by Virga. The Under The Radar Magazine streams the entire album. Go there to listen to it in full.
When I used an idiom before, then I did so intentionally because many of the lyrics on Maxium Entropy reference idioms like “deal with the hand that’s being played” and the likes. The album closes with a cover of Sweet Harmony, a hit in 1993 by the band The Beloved. (Watch a video of the Sweet Harmony.)
3. Laws of Motion (feat. White Sea)
4. Oil Spill
5. Loveless Marriage
11. Deliver Us From Evil
12. Sweet Harmony