Almost six years have passed since the release of Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam and with it the re-popularisation of this multi-textured, skittish, harmonic brand of alt-pop. It is music that still decorates the innards of each tour support that you're currently likely to see. The difference is that with each incarnation that arrives; Yeasayer, MGMT, Everything Everything; more water is added to the concoction. You still hear the screeches of spiked Avey Tare-style vocals and splashes of colour, but it's less musical. It's hard to imagine that Hook and The Twin didn't listen go to the same school and, fresh from touring with the Manchester-based group Everything Everything, their heads are as scattered as ever. As the world's of their fans and endorsers slowed to a halt, the group seemed to have conceived their debut effort, Never Ever Ever with gusto.

Any tracker of Hook and The Twin's journey thus far will be accustomed to their flashbang eighties' anthems and kraut-rock-type proclivity and, for admirers, this debut record will at very least entertain. Album opener and single 'That Was a Day' abides to the same standards and frames the band well. Shimmering vocals, memorable melodies, savoury instrumentation, repetitive and simplistic rhythms; there's a mathematical quality to their material which prompts George Michael and 'Faceblock' to enter your subconscious. It now seems a better time than ever to mention that singer; Tom Havelock is a serial multi-instrumentalist. Previously released single 'We're So Light', follows with equal strengths and credentials as a pop song.

There's a complexity in its grandiose decoration which depicts the groundswell of depth Never Ever Ever is made up of. From the intertwining, incessant drum rolls of 'Stone' to the considered development of 'Love Your Own Way', these nuances are certainly difficult to overlook. Havelock manages to dance between James Mercer and Morten Harket with showcase of his layered, charismatic vocal deliveries. Pit the bittersweet croons of 'Recklessly' against the aforementioned 'That Was A Day' and hear his range.

The biggest problem you'll find with this debut release lies with the lyrical content. It first popped-up with the nightmarish 'Bang Bang Cherry'. With this song, Havelock is presumably trying to adopt a character of obscenity (a la Frank Zappa) with his "salamanders", "hissing cats" and "8-bit lizards", but this slapdash style works against them. From then on, you begin to view the dialogue overall in a different light. At his best, he pleads, searches and borders on some rare self-deprecating sentiments on 'Love Your Own Way'. Then songs like 'That Was A Day' make you assume that he's counting the alphabet on his fingers trying to figure what rhymes; "Sunday"/"Hallway", "Lucid/lose it"; there are some lemon juice-in-mouth type moments. You'll find yourself on an incessant, desperate search for something that isn't inconsequential and thin with the words.

'Tribes', 'Recklessly' and 'They'll Get Your Head' enlarge the complexion of Never Ever Ever. These glimpses of experimentation and boundless interaction are as memorable as the pop songs which precede them. A gauntlet of influence is embraced with 'Recklessly', one of the best composed songs on the album, which is painted from an In Rainbows palette.

Never Ever Ever walks a tightrope between being something accessible and a more challenging record, yet it's more intelligent and arduous than many albums attempting to do something similar. With this debut effort, Hook and The Twin find themselves lost on a landscape which you'd seldom find a more dissipated market for a record of this nature. If, on their sophomore release they're able to take their clear chemistry a step further, they can turn promise into pertinence.