As it did in the 80s and early 90s, Manchester (and that gritty Northern bit in general [see the upcoming 'B-town' scene]) is becoming a hotbed of musical activity. Just as Joy Division, New Order, and The Durutti Column proved decades ago, the region again has a trove of talent to offer the globe; and equally, just as those bands did in days gone by, they're formidable emotive powerhouses. Modern Mancunian outfit MONEY are fervently following in their footsteps, eschewing the insipid drivel of Oasis or The Stone Roses in favour of gutsy moments of bleeding-heart post-pop.

They trade in sacrosanct soundscapes comprising dew-coated synth harmonies, spindly webs of piano and the reverent vocals from outspoken bohemian Jamie Lee, who's mentioned that the impetus for their music is an "overall unhappiness for what [they] do." He's an enigmatic exhibitionist with a penchant for (artistically) whacking his junk out and frequently spouts mantras for the advancement of music as a sacred art form. They're fans of the poets Rilke and Kozlov. This is a band with fleshed-out ideals and a strident purpose to back up their supreme sounds and post-millennial hymns.

Their much-awaited debut LP, Shadow Of Heaven comes after a slew of sublime singles. 'Bluebell Fields' slowly swells and collapses like a wheezing lung; it's led by fuzzy guitar strings and the twinkling math-rock guitars - if it weren't for Lee's echoing vocals, this could be a cut from Everything Everything's Arc. 'Goodnight London' opens with fragile lines: "I fell in love with the night time/ she took me by surprise," from Lee's quivering lips. Cities are personified in this storm-battered wharf of a ballad; it's naked, raw and free from the high-budget production of Top 40 pop. Instead, we're given an organic, living-but-barely-breathing anthem of crushing despair. Not a happy song, no - more like an epitaph - but it's grandiose, skeletal and great nonetheless.

'Cold Water' is lost in the dreamy rock pools of a misty beach somewhere along the shores of some distant, fantastical land. It escalates like the brooding post-punk of Savages - Lee's creaking tones are reminiscent of Jehnny Beth's - and the hulking, emotional gravity of Nadine Shah's Nick Cave-iousness. Evolving from an isolate thread into an enchanting behemoth, it's a highlight on the record. 'Black' utilises the piano once more. It's another delicate ivory-tinkled ode, dabbling in dynamics and regularly scaling registers. Lee can deliver an almost-silent falsetto and a booming gruffness - the track is a brilliant platform for his pipes. 'Who's Going To Love You Now' is drizzled in a thick grey fog, with illustrious hook-peaks penetrating the tangible textures, shining through the murkier undergrowth - it's considerably more optimistic (-sounding) than much of the LP, providing a welcome new take on MONEY's cynical pop.

We've been waiting for this record since the first enticing noises hit our ears, and it can be safely said that it does not disappoint. There's a rich vein of sparkly feelings to be mined on Shadow Of Heaven, and repeated listens are highly recommended - at first it may appear a dour tantrum, and though that's still present after a few plays, you begin to find and grab onto the fragments of hope and vague optimism. The dimensions are rife within the album: lyrically, tonally and instrumentally; you'll be in awe of the music. Immerse yourself - in the shade is probably more apt, but you'll find it a cathartic listen on balmy evenings too.