Montgolfier Brothers The World is Flat

Having apparently assigned themselves the task of writing the saddest songs of all time, this Manchester duo swiftly shut down all competition in 2000 by way of their debut album, Seventeen Stars, and especially its emotional centrepiece "Between Two Points,” six minutes of unresolved tension that gently suggested we stop aspiring to exceptional lives and simply get on with an inevitable future of drudgery, loneliness and frustration. But despite the reasonable assumption that they would have been discovered in an exhaust-filled garage before now, Roger Quigley and Mark Tranmer return here to offer ten more reminders that we enter the world like we leave it: confused, afraid and, most likely, wet. So why The World is Flat is nevertheless worth your time and money is commensurate with why you might treasure your Nick Drake box set or enjoy watching Magnolia again and again — the disturbingly therapeutic properties of taking an armchair holiday to someone else’s misery. That the Brothers also seem to have claimed every beautiful melody that Felt and the Durutti Column left unused is just a bonus. This is exquisite pain. (Poptones)