I’ve got some good – nay, great – news for you dear reader. Tubelord sound like Tubelord again. Yes! Cast your minds back to 2008 when Big Scary Monsters put out the band’s debut 7” 'Feed Me a Box of Words', consequently making them your new favourite band. I don’t blame you – they very quickly became my favourite band back then, too. But, we had good reason didn’t we? That single took math rock and basically introduced us all to it. The then-three piece took odd time signatures to a whole ‘nother level, incorporating scarily complex riffs within their ability to combine multiple hooks, harmonies and even harmonicas together. It was as fresh as fresh can be, and the success continued with a flurry of seven inches.

No longer a hidden secret; the band dominated the British live scene with frantic, epileptic live shows that propelled them to be possibly the best live band in the country. A year later, the news broke that yes, finally, they’d been signed by none other than Hassle Records.

Our First American Friends, their debut album, was most definitely flawed. The songs on that record were growing tired – what was new to most people ‘back in the day’ was no longer relevant, and math rock godfathers such as Hella and Don Cabarello suddenly got the attention they deserved back at the time of their conception. It’s safe to say things fell a little flat for the camp Tubelord, as evidenced by the disappointing Tezcatlipōca EP. Their attempt to distance themselves from the genre they’d drawn so much inspiration from came up short, and it’s safe to say my once favourite band seemed to fade into the background. I honestly didn’t think we’d see a second full-length from them.

However, a few months ago, Tubelord – now a four-piece – debuted the video for a track called ‘4T3’ from their new record, R o m a n c e. It was an outright wacky affair – a 90’s VHS aesthetic complete with dodgy curtains, superimposed images of clocks and clouds and other obscurities all made something which felt like it was trying to connect to the demographic of 13-year-old Tumblr addicts. It was, at the time, the last thing I expected from them. But in hindsight, isn’t that the brilliant thing about this band? They’d also announced it’d be released on Pink Mist – the lovechild of Big Scary Monsters where the band had begun, and Holy Roar Records. A beacon of hope ignited within me upon reading this.

'4T3' itself is nothing spectacular or game-changing – it’s certainly no 'Feed Me a Box of Words' – but it’s brilliant all the same. It was interesting, though, in the sense that for a record that I’d already assumed was a full-length Tezcatlipōca, it was already proving how wrong my assumptions were.

I really was wrong in my assumptions. Right from the offset, R o m a n c e restores your faith in the band. The opening track - 'Over In Brooklyn' – it has all the qualities we know this band can have. Yes! There’s a hundred different rhythms! No! You weren’t expecting that delightful key change just then – or those frantic tin drums, or the fact that the growing prominence of synth in the band actually works. Which it does! And, oh yes – there's the breakdown.

'4T3' is probably the most far-out track on R o m a n c e. I feel it’s almost there to provide a bridge into the brilliant acapella at the beginning of 'Charms', which then explodes with the as-ever technically tight drumming of Dave Catmur. “I’ve fallen in love again,” frontman Joe Prendergast softly sings, and as the whimsical piano in the track leads into a glorious, anthemic crescendo, I realise that I have too.

If you haven’t heard the band’s new single 'My First Castle' yet, please do – it’s probably my favourite track on the album. Joe is on form – his ability to provide utter pizazz and chaos within his vocals yet suddenly spring in and out of harmonies is quite frankly hypnotizing. That, in turn with the track’s conclusion of a chorus of voices, whoa’s, cries and shouts is enough to provide goosebumps.

Then – just like that – Tubelord get fucking serious. 'Ignatz' is a harsh, squealing cacophony of a song. It’s the complete opposite of everything the record has delivered thus far and it’s fantastic. The tempo is turned up to the max, everything suddenly becomes so much louder and rougher – it’s absolutely relentless.

By the time you reach the end of 'Tidy Diggs', you’re left reeling. Confused. Overjoyed. Perhaps disappointed. I’ve had this album basically on repeat for about a week now, and I’m still not quite sure what to completely make of it. Anyone who’s ever been a fan of even just one Tubelord song or anyone who’s ever been curious as to their sound will find something to love here. I’m as shocked and surprised as you are, dear reader – but I think maybe, just maybe, with a couple more listens this could have potential to be one of the records of the year.