Of all the longstanding Cardiff bands, Kutosis' development over the last couple of years has been the most exciting. Their 2011 debut Fanatical Love was an album of confident spiky post-punk, while second Dream It Away (for which tonight acts as a launch show) is an expansive set of '90s influenced indie which, rather than stating some kind of new order, can be heard as a sophisticated progression of the most interesting aspects of their bratty first. We've heard some of these songs already over the last year or so (notably at their very popular Sŵn 2013 performance), but to see them played to a jubilant crowd in celebration of the long-awaited release of their sophomore effort (which also marks excellent local promoter Jealous Lovers Club's first release as a record label) is pretty warming stuff.

They weren't the only band stating a musical progression tonight. While opening act Wasters are very much at the beginning of their shoegazey Britpop journey (which displays a couple of hooks), main support Winter Villains debuted material from their own forthcoming second album. Their first, February (which itself was released only a year ago), was a very good but also very sorrowful collection of choral odes backed by sparse guitar, piano and fiddle arrangements. However on the evidence of tonight's set their second should be a much more experimental affair. Songs called to mind groups as diverse as These New Puritans and the Postal Service as they took a more minimalist and 'twinkly' approach to arrangements, replacing the sweeping instrumental melodies of their previous incarnation with synth programming and guitar pedal twiddling.

Almost in opposition to Winter Villains' reflective compositions, Kutosis went some way in asserting their potential as indie pop cover stars. However, aside from the surfboard at the back of the stage (a nod to the Hawaii Five-O aping cover art of Dream It Away), there were no gimmicks - no 'banter', no gymnastics, but a friendly and self-assured presentation of their excellent songwriting. Their sound is comparable to a variety of indie bands (the Cribs spring to mind late in the set), but at the same time strikingly individual: the sonic separation between the bass, drums and guitar does not feel empty - indeed, the surfboard can also be taken to signify an influence from the washed out indie of America's west coast. Former set closer 'Battle Lake' is nestled among their newies, and serves to show that their musical shift isn't so stark - in this context it sounds less like a bombastic Wire and more a pissed off, focussed early Suede - but it's the new stuff that dominates: 'Crystal Beach', 'This Avalanche Is' and 'Short Stories' are all indie swayers in waiting, while the Nirvana gone Britpop of 'Horizons' shows that they will never shake off the punch which characterised their first release. Which is obviously for the best.