In the intimate surroundings of the Ruby Lounge, Man Without Country chose to start their current tour and to showcase ‘Maximum Entropy’, their third and present album.

Man Without Country consists of Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf, who are joined by Mike Monaghan on live drums and percussion.

The venue was filled with an eerie echoing synthesised fusion with the opening song ‘Entropy’, which laid down an opening statement of what was to come in this twelve song set.

ManWithout Country delivered a multi-layered platform of sound that was both dark and atmospheric in texture. The sublayer of synthesised wall of sound lent towards a definite dance structure, with their rhythmic beats, heavy sub bass and processed beats. James’ fragile vocals and acrimonious lyrics were at times processed through an effects pad on his mic stand, and were another integral ingredient within Man Without Country’s densely complex formula. It was difficult not to mistake in it the vibes and undertones of Joy Division and the Cure, which was no bad thing at all.

‘Closet Addicts Anonymous’ for me showcased what the band are about, the atmospheric music being dynamically built up layer by layer into a dark and surreal, anthemic sound.

A cover of the Beloved’s ‘Sweet Harmony’ showcased their diversity and a more supple side to Man Without Country, a trigger for people to shuffle their feet in harmony with James’fine vocals.

‘Laws of Motion’ was the final track for what was an excellent evening, an evening that proved to me there is a place for great bands like Man Without Country with their loud, experimental, anthemic brand of rock. I have no hesitation in saying about them, “We will be seeing you on bigger and better stages in the future.”

Photos: Billy Seagrave

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