Sometimes, a band being unsure of who they want to be is definitely a good thing. So long as they can pull this off with confidence, they're all set. Just ask Jagwar Ma. Their debut album in influenced by everything from the sort of psychedelia that their countrymen Tame Impala are proficient in, to 90s rave culture, the 'Madchester' scene, and impressively focused dance-pop. It's all over the place, broadly speaking, but it works extremely well. A seven-minute lead single? Check: 'The Throw' has quickly become the duo's calling card, but they dispense with it three songs in. A colossal sound that would work just as well in sweaty clubs as it would on festival stages? There's that too: opener 'What Love' twists looped vocals and a towering synth bassline around a song with a clear psychedelic lineage and a powerful groove. It has one foot in the future and the other in the past, and is an eye-opening debut that will surely light a fire under their career.

Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield came together over a passion for melody and experimental beats, and these things are essential parts of the Jagwar Ma sound. 'That Loneliness' is a 60s-influenced guitar anthem seen through the lens of an anarchic dance party; even by this album's usual standard, it's quite a busy-sounding track, but works very well indeed. What's more, the chorus deserves to be sung back at them by thousands: "That loneliness is in my blood." It's absolutely huge, and one of the moments on the album where the duo's pop ambitions shine through. They take an experimental approach to writing songs like these, with 'Uncertainty' taking advantage of the friction between its traditional and futuristic elements to create one of the most anthemic moments on the album. They don't always need to push the boat out, however: despite its unexpected, bare-bones synth breakdown, 'Come Save Me' is, for the most part, a decidedly conventional psychedelic pop song.

The duo find ways to keep things interesting even they're at their most straightforward, and it's this that makes Howlin such a fascinating album. The masterful album centrepiece 'Four' (which I'm assuming is named for its dancefloor-ready, four-to-the-floor beat) even finds them resorting to the repetitive and subtly progressive song structures of techno and house music, elements appearing and disappearing almost at will as the track builds to a bass-driven finish before fading away. It shouldn't even work on the same album as the shamelessly poppy current single 'Man I Need', but everything featured on the record works because of Jagwar Ma's devotion to their craft. Their debut album is an exquisitely-crafted piece of work; since appearing as if from nowhere toward the end of 2011, the duo have come a long way, and their accomplished opening statement should see them go further still.