Bangor’s Masters In France have one foot planted firmly in the indie mainstream. With support from the likes of Huw Stephens and Bethan Elvyn (BBC Wales, 6Music) and a slot earlier this year at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, they are nothing if not well positioned, poised to make that leap onto the daytime playlists of Fearne Cotton and her cohorts, sandwiched between the latest monstrosities from The Wombats and Mumford and Sons. The one thing a mainstream indie audience demands however is tunes; on the basis of their forthcoming debut EP Inhale, Masters In France are sadly lacking in that department.

It starts strongly enough. ‘Orbitoclast’s’ stuttering drums and (slightly comedy) gloomy synth make way for a quirky, catchy chorus backed by a guitar line that somehow manages to sound like a midi steel drum. All in all it makes for an enjoyable three minutes, even if it is a bit Kasabian-lite. Unfortunately, things go rapidly downhill from there. ‘Greyhounds’ is dreadful, all rawk vocals and thickly layered guitars. It sounds like a Reverend and The Makers B-Side, dated and over produced, centred on a “counting up the score, count it up some more” refrain that would make The Enemy’s Tom Clarke turn a brighter shade of Scarlet.

Recent single ‘A.I. (Artificial Inches)’ fares no better – again it’s hard to avoid the Kasabian comparisons. Closer ‘Little Girl’ has been floating around in various incarnations since last year and is infinitely more promising, despite an intro cribbed from Snow Patrol’s ‘Chocolate’. As on ‘Orbitoclast’, vocalist Ed Ellis Jones makes nice little melodic leaps, a tool the band should employ more readily, but the chorus falls disappointingly flat after a strong build-up. If this were Masterchef I’d be imploring them for a ‘little more oomph’ at the crucial moment.

This is a band who’ve obviously spent a lot of time and effort making their music sound crisp and radio-friendly, but the end result is half quirky indie, half soulless, middle of the road fare. If they focused more on their own idiosyncrasies they may become a stronger proposition.