It's been a long, weird and winding road for Tera Melos. They put their self-titled album out in 2005, and it took them five years to produce the follow-up. Eight years after Tera Melos itself was released, they've come up with their poppiest yet most abrasive-sounding record yet. They recorded the entire thing in a friend's bedroom; it would have been easy for them to go down the other route, book studio time, go in and get the album done; their songs are as labyrinthine as ever, but the immediacy factor has skyrocketed to the point that if this were given the right amount of spit and polish, it'd be marketed as a pop album. Anyone who knows Tera Melos will tell you that's one hell of a weird prospect. As it happens, the lo-fi sound they've adopted for X'ed Out really suits them. In fact, it suits them so well that they almost sound like a completely different band. Almost.

Bedroom productions often sound sloppy and unfinished, but the band's technical ability remains - just listen to drummer John Clardy approaching 'Sunburn' with a dexterity more reminiscent of jazz drumming than anything else, or how opener 'Weird Circles' places emphasis on Nick Reinhart's vocals in what is by no means a clean-sounding song - rough and unhewn, intricate pop just sounds like what they're meant to do at this point in their career. It comes as naturally to them now as their unsettled, weirder moments did three years ago. They're able to throw in a floaty, keyboard-driven track like 'Snake Lake' like it's nobody's business, coming out the other side of 'Bite' one of the heaviest songs on the album and moving from one musical style to the next with a dismissive shrug. There are many different ways of exploring accessibility, and the band try to fit in as many as they can. It's strange how it works: in the beginning they were known as an experimental, wilfully out-there band, but now creating immediate songs has become the experiment.

Lead single 'Tropic Lame' is a Pavement-esque, hazy, mid-90s rock song that works extremely well for them. There was a time people thought Tera Melos would never write songs like that, and yet, here we are. The trio - completed by Nathan Latona, whose versatile bass-playing style means he can handle whatever the other two throw at him, something which becomes even more apparent as the album moves towards its finale of 'X'ed Out and Tired', which closes the album on what could be viewed as a career high for the band - it's one of the best songs they've ever written, and closes the third chapter of their story with aplomb. Knowing how inventive the band are, there's no question that they will consider approaching LP4 from every possible angle in a few years, but there's so much to enjoy about X'ed Out that there's no need to think about that for quite a while. It's taken them a while to get here, but the band are at the top of their game in so many respects. When other bands deliver albums as good as this, the question is often, "how will they follow it up?," delivered with a furrowed brow and contemplative expression, but in Tera Melos's case, the most exciting thing about their new album - a staggering achievement in itself - is all the possibilities it unlocks.