There's a breezy and bright feel to the sound of Imperial Teen that ensures it has an instant impact. The band formed as a side-project of Roddy Bottum from Faith No More in the mid-90s as a vehicle for him to explore being involved in the creation of pop music, and there's been four albums since. Feel the Sound is the band's fitth, being released in the UK a whole 18 months after its US debut. It's my introduction to the band - I was surprised to hear that they've been around for 17 years, because the music of their latest album is surprisingly current. You could imagine a fresh-faced indie-pop band breaking out with an album like this; for Imperial Teen, however, it's just another chapter in their story.

The band is comprised of Bottum, Will Schwartz, Lynn Truell and Jone Stebbins, and from their beginnings, in which they were thrown together in the midst of working on various other projects, they've been focused on making each album a collaborative effort. The same is true for their latest venture, which opens with the entire band on lead vocals for 'Runaway', kicking things off with propulsive drums and an impressively energetic feel. Indeed, energy is the cornerstone of the record, with songs like 'Over His Head' and the swaggering 'Last to Know' showing that the band are at their best when they keep things moving. As all good pop music should, it places emphasis on immediacy, and whereas some of the album's jauntiness can be slightly overdone at times, there's no denying that it packs a powerful melodic punch.

The album highlight 'Don't Know How You Do It' showcases the band at the peak of their powers on a song which has an impressive amount of replay value. The boy/girl harmonies on 'The Hibernates' are similarly infectious, and allowing Truell to take lead vocals on 'It's You' is a great move, with the penultimate track helping the album to wind down somewhat before we get to the only mid-tempo track on the record, which closes Feel the Sound in a way that is both unexpected and impressive, adding a sizeable amount of atmosphere to an album that is presented as poppy and almost frivolous, but reveals itself to have a lasting effect on the listener.