Well, look who it is - been a little while since they've been up in our biz. Just over 10 years, to be exact. They called it quits in 2003, and a lot has happened to The Dismemberment Plan in that time: we've had side projects - among them Travis Morrison's solo album Travistan, infamously eviscerated by Pitchfork in 2004 - scattered reunion shows and a deluge of new songs performed live, all leading to the much anticipated comeback album, Uncanney Valley.

Considering that the band went out on a high note with 2001's Change (an album which was then viewed as being at odds with their previous output), one would expect them to be feeling the pressure on their first set of new recordings in over a decade, but nothing could be further from the truth. They've simply moved on, and from the sounds of things, they expect their fanbase to have done the same. Emergency & I remains the high point of their career, but they underwent a surprising metamorphosis with Change, and their new album represents another step forward.

The album opens on an offbeat note that's in line with what the band do best; 'No One's Saying Nothing' and lead single 'Waiting' tread a fine line between self-conscious oddness and genuine accessibility, containing just the right amount of quirkiness - the fanfare at the beginning of the latter track, for example, or the head-scratching opening line of the former ("You hit the space bar enough and cocaine comes out / I really like this computer" - er, you what, Travis?) - to suggest that this is definitely still the D-Plan. They've never been ones to do things by the numbers, after all - even at their most introspective, they managed to maintain their sense of fun. 'Invisible' makes creative use of a looped string sample, mixing Joe Easley's confident rhythms with Morrison's best set of lyrics in a while, as he recounts how he felt upon moving to New York, expressing it with such universality that anyone who's moved to a new city will be able to relate: "Waiting around for the 7 Express / New York was a bet, Queens was a guess / Thought I'd be working in Midtown: a winner / And now I'm biting my nails and I'm calling it dinner."

The album's coloured by what he's experienced in the years since Travistan; he's a father now, meaning he has to maintain the balance between his familial obligations and his musical career, and that's why the likes of 'Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer' hit home so much: "Growing up, I never knew why Daddy was so depressed / He always paid his interest, but he never got out of debt." It turns out he "threw his dancing shoes away" when he had Travis. This isn't the only track on which Morrison weighs what he wants to do against what he has to do; "You know I'm missing rock and roll, because rock and roll was killing me," he admits on 'White Collar, White Trash', but it doesn't sound like it anymore.

The Dismemberment Plan have gone from being masters of frantic art-punk to becoming something else entirely. What that is, I'm not entirely sure, but they made a habit of switching things up from one album to the next, anyway, so it's par for the course - their frontman has married and settled down, but Uncanney Valley isn't anywhere close to being settled. It closes with 'Let's Just Go To The Dogs Tonight', one of the most jubilant songs about being completely screwed that you're ever likely to hear, but the D-Plan's luck definitely hasn't run out - they're back in business and, crucially, still on form.