I think the word that best sums up an album like this is 'wow'. Change has always been at the heart of Dinosaur Pile-Up - the band has lost no fewer than three members since its formation, and to call their current line-up stable would be jumping the gun a little - but the line-up is not the only thing about the band that has changed drastically in the time since the Leeds band released debut album Growing Pains. In just over two-and-a-half years, DPU have gone from having the role of torch-bearers of the grunge revival foisted upon them, to tightening their sound considerably and becoming an alt-rock act of jaw-dropping melodic precision. Their two albums bear contrasting titles: Growing Pains came out of a period during which Matt Bigland wanted to form a band around him. He wrote the debut by himself, out of choice, and DPU grew from there, but Nature Nurture found him forced to write and record everything on his own again; his drummer and bassist quit the band within days of each other, so it was back to square one. Did the project need the nurture of a full band's input, or was it in Bigland's nature to take the considerable weight of birthing the follow-up?

He decided that it was the latter, and with a new mission statement in mind - he says of the album that he "wanted to write pop songs" - he set to work. Six weeks later, his polymath instincts having resurfaced, the album was sketched out and ready to go. With a singularity of purpose driving him that was immediately evident when lead track 'Arizona Waiting' surfaced at the start of the year - an absolute gem of a track: just over three minutes, short and to the point - the record was soon complete. Six months later, it's ready to go, and it's a thoroughly impressive album, packed to the brim with effervescent hooks and choruses, filled with enough power to punch through brick walls. 'Derail' has a particularly nagging palm-muted riff, the sort which will compel you to listen to the track on repeat. 'Peninsula' tips its hat to Foo Fighters, while 'Heather' brings to mind Blood Red Shoes drafting in a third member and giving the garage-punk of Box of Secrets some spit and polish. The serrated power chords and booming drums of 'White T-Shirt and Jeans' (which features the sort of chorus you could see from space if it had a physical form) are the clearest indicators of Bigland's ambitions. He's said that he "imagined kids losing their shit on a massive scale, all feeling the same thing at once," and the new material sounds like it will do just that.

At the same time, he knows just when to rein it in, doing so at a crucial point - 'The Way We Came' is as stripped-back as the forceful album gets; it hints at the conflict and state of near-constant flux that the album was created amidst ("Let's go back the way we came / We made a pact to stay the same / Don't lose your way / Don't ever change") and has seemed to come to define it. The album was born out of internal and external conflict for Bigland - whether it's been resolved, I can't say, but the whole Dinosaur Pile-Up project really feels like it's back on solid ground. "I feel like people are always living in these boxes that they think they should be, when they’re not really like that at all," he says when discussing the album's lyrical themes, and by the time the title track brings things to a close - after the Deftones-influenced 'Lip Hook Kiss' stakes its claim for the title of the best song on the album - Bigland's given into both musical and lyrical reckless abandon, closing the album on a high and proving that he's still got it. He ended up making this album on his own, just like the first one? Is that the way things are meant to be? Perhaps not, but an excellent album has been made out of difficult circumstances, so why stop there?