It’s always pleasant when something surprises you. I had a cup of coffee a little while ago, and I decided was the best cup of coffee I had drunk in a long time. I wasn’t expecting this cup of coffee to be anything more than the usual, but for some reason, the elements had come together wondrously, and I was both surprised and delighted with the results. In the same way, Isle of Dogs by Tigercats wins us over within the first few tracks, as what could easily have been the same worn old indie staple, done almost to death with a dirge of unimaginitive twenty-somethings with trendy haircuts. Isle of Dogs works in that it isn’t really anything more than the staple we all know, but it’s kept fresh with original takes on so many themes.

With vocals delivered straight from Los Campesinos!’s notebooks, guitar lines from The Drums’ better works, and dirt straight from the bottom of The Strokes’ shoes, there are echoes here and there of derivation, but that’s no bad thing. We don’t condone the manufacturers of chocolate for simply putting things we know and love (milk, sugar and... beans) together to make something wonderful. However, we probably wouldn’t eat Cadburys if it was simply sugary milk with cocoa beans floating in them. Half of the work is how bands choose to incorporate their roots, without simply sounding like a carbon copy. With carefree vocals coming from singer Duncan Barrett, and a band that altogether sound like they’re having fun, it’s easy not to take the record too seriously, and just get swept away with the fun attitude present.

There are some really great songs on this album. The jolly ‘Full Moon Reggae Party’ sums up the totality of mood at play, jolly guitars, nothing too daunting to challenge you, whilst buoying away on a slapdash drum line which adds to the pace of the whole song. ‘Limehouse Nights’ displays some beautiful arrangements of guitar towards the end, whilst reminding ourselves that although these songs are all stripped back in some regard, there’s still a lot that can be played out within that bracket. ‘Kim & Thurston’ has a pace unlike any other song here, slowed down it is a welcome change, simply to see Tigercats do something a little bit different. The last song on the album, ‘Jonny’, is a lovely end to the album, with it’s delicate lyrics, and sunshine guitars and dreamy bass evoking the spirits of The Presidents of the United States of America, peaches and all.

This is indie-pop, but it would be a shame to say that this is "indie-pop and not much else." Whilst I am glad to throw that moniker around to many bands coming from the UK at the moment, Tigercats truly are indie-pop at its finest. With hooks that don’t sound stale, but sound fresh and captivating, lyrics that are both edgy and brash, and an overall sound that makes you want to dance, Isle of Dogs is a success. Here’s to Tigercats.