Pedestrian Verse starts with the line "I am that dickhead in the kitchen / giving wine to your best girl's glass." Straight away it seems clear that Frightened Rabbit are back in a wistful and brutally honest mood.

It whisks you back to their Midnight Organ Fight album, a tale of love lost and bad decisions that helped many people, including this writer, to get through heartbreak and dark moments and included choruses like "You're the shit and I'm knee deep in it."

Yet the follow up, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, seemed to show a band with an identity crisis – where Organ Fight revealed such a unique voice and sound, the broad brushstrokes of Mixed Drinks failed to create the same intimacy. Lead singer Scott Hutchison obscured his usual honesty with more universal lyrics but the band's more optimistic and polished approach only fitfully resulted in triumph.

It seems something the band has acknowledged on Pedestrian Verse. The record is all bleak truths, searing honesty and black humour, soundtracked by great big rousing choruses and simple, stirring melodies. There's more urgency and more of the visceral moments that the band are so adept at creating.

Just take 'State Hospital', which also featured on last year's EP of the same name. It shows Hutchinson's storytelling look outwardly – a woman whose "heart beats like a breeze block thrown down the stairs" and who "cries in the high street just to be heard." It's a song that could be crushingly bleak but it manages to end as an anthem with its climatic "all is not lost."

The towering choruses here mean that nearly every song is imbued with the sense of 'anthem', even though Hutchinson seems to be fixated on death. It's when these two ideas intertwine that the band seem to hit the macabre sweet spot. 'Backyard Skulls' forward-thrusting momentum as well as 'Dead Now' with its languid handclaps and the majestically desolate stomp of 'Late March, Death March' are all highlights.

And like Frightened Rabbit at their best there is laughter to be had in the dark. The black humour of 'Nitrous Gas' sees Hutchinson almost mocking himself for being shoehorned in to the role of miserablist writer - one line actually reads "I'm dying to be unhappy again."

Pedestrian Verse sees a band seemingly grasp what makes them who they are again. You can hear it pulsing through every beat of this album. That's the dichotomy of the album – it's one that's obsessed with death, while revealing a beating heart at every turn. Frightened Rabbit are back to their confessional, ragged and fiery best. And it makes for cathartic listening.