Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Alphabeat Back Better Than Ever

12 years have disappeared since Alphabeat exploded onto the international stage with the ever infectious Fascination. The colourful pop sextet knew how to pen a hook and were not ashamed to use an earworm or two. Releasing their debut album in 2008, they proved that there was far more to them than one-hit-wonder material.

The album, Alphabeat, is as addictively glorious today as it was back when it was first released. Having explored the Euro-beat and synth sounds of the late 80s/early 90s on the often overlooked genius of their sophomore album The Spell in 2009, the lack of commercial acclaim lead to 2012's pop explosion Express Non-Stop being a limited release. Having explored different projects - definitely check out Stine Bramsen's album Fiftyseven and THANKS' (Anders SG and Anders B) album Mind Expansion - the sextet are finally back and ready to party again.

Having already released the brilliant Shadows and irresistible I Don't Know What's Cool Anymore, it is clear that the group are back and better than ever. While their debut effort may have been rewarded with the edged-knife that is critical acclaim, the band are thankfully still simply playing the game by their own rules. Rather than following trends or trying to be something that they are not, their fourth studio album succeeds for all the reasons their first three are still thrilling listens - they are a band who are unashamed of who they are - with a mission to simply have fun with their listeners.

Although the lyrical content is possibly more introverted and there are shadows of folk within their sound, Alphabeat have not aged shockingly. They have brought to the table a maturity that will reflect their listenership, while simultaneously maintaining the ability to simply be fun.

While Back of My Bike, Now You Know and I Don't Know What's Cool Anymore play straight into the hands of the fans who have fed them over the years, the two most surprising numbers are effortlessly the stand outs. The gospel tinge of The Answer is music for the soul, while the rawness of Sing A Song is truly compelling.

Alphabeat are back and they are truly better than ever.