Ah, The Vaccines: rammed down our throats by 'big media' like so much stale bread. Touted by Radio 1 and NME as if they were the new guitar-bearing messiahs, The Vaccines initially proved themselves a vital live act to witness, full of youthful bombast and gritty hedonistic indie-rock, even if only for a short time.

They were so raved about that their ears must've been scorched off. Alas, they soon went the same way as Mumford Inc., decried by the muso elite and, ironically, looked down on for being too posh. Much of their debut LP was very good, and indeed it was very successful, both commercially and critically - but that didn't stop the West London foursome from becoming punching bags.

Skip past the raucous sweaty dive-bar aesthetic of their rollicking debut and its pristine indie-pop; fast-forward beyond Come Of Age (a forgettable record that suffered so badly from DSAS) to a dawning era, where we've got a sonic U-turn, Melody Calling, a fresh EP twinkling like a diamond in the rough. The Vaccines showed immense promise in their early days, but after a deluge of naff-ness, disappointment reigned supreme - most had all but given up on thinking they'd resuscitate that energy, and resigned to the fact that they were now no better than a slightly hairier, more unkempt Scouting For Girls.

'Melody Calling' (the track) changed all that. In an instant, that aural glimmer of hope shone like a beacon, with reactions ranging from a lowly 'gobsmacked' to a lofty 'scooping jaw off the floor with a dustpan and brush'. It was indeed surprising to hear such talent after they'd been all but written off.

The title track itself is awash with waves of psychedelic fuzz. Instead of Justin Young's signature howling pomp, it's a blissful, laissez-faire affair, verging on dream-pop, with woozy hallucinogen riffs and polished lo-fi chords. Their Top 40 knowledge is put to good use - but instead of trying to tick boxes, they present us with an enormous singalong chorus and the kind of refined hooks that aren't focused on tugging on your lobes. Instead, the hooks swim and languish in a pool of pastel-coloured mercury, fizzing and drowning beneath the thick textures.

Producers Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys) and John Hill (Santigold, M.I.A.) have no doubt been dab hands in the reinvention, if that's indeed what this is. Young & Co. do appear to be particularly image conscious, so perhaps upon realising Come Of Age critically tanked, they recruited heavy-hitters to revive their A-game. Maybe. It might just be a happy coincidence.

'Everybody's Gonna Let You Down' wields a Nirvana-lite rhythm section: brooding grunge bass and shaky muffled beats lay a weary pace. Again, Young sounds beleaguered and embattled, there's no zesty guts in his voice, and it's great. It feels a whole lot more natural than the denim waistcoat thing he was rockin' last year. Noodly 70s guitars wail and duel with new wave pads; it's a wonderful amalgam of three distinctive decades set to a nihilistic narrative. 'Do You Want A Man' clips and buzzes and jars - it's got a funky Franz Ferdinand quality that's somehow both disjointed and slick. There's blossoming falsetto, complex rhythms and all the axe licks have been skewered and/or mangled beyond recognition.

The Vaccines had a lot to prove with this EP, and it's a gamble that's wonderfully paid off. From being an act that had all but dissipated from our radar, they've stormed right into our field of vision once more, determined to show the world that they're still life in them yet. The jury's still out on whether this is a permanent directional shift or just a temporary vacation into West Coast antics, but whatever the answer, we'll all have our eyes firmly on them come record number three.