Sound — 9
Probably best described as "Alternative Rock", my first impression was of a less heavy version of Biffy Clyro, more jangly/stratty sounding guitars and less use of distortion effects, not to say that there sin't a variety of tracks on this album. The style can be considered similar with unusual riffs and time signatures, combined with some odd lyrics (but more of that later) and interesting song titles. I first heard of Tubelord in the build to the Ynot festival in 2010, and I have to say I was very impressed when I saw them as well.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are...well, a bit odd. They fit perfectly with the style of music, as is often the case with alternative or progressive music the lyrics often use words and themes that you wouldn't expect to hear in this style of music, for example (taken from the first line of Propeller): "Rainboliatric jumbles, it's the childhood games you're after". One of the softer tracks, "Cows to East, Cities to the West", starts with the lyric "Climb, climb triceratops" and has a verse explaining about replacing damaged library books. Joseph Prendergast (vocals) isn't what you would call a classically brilliant singer, however for the style of music it is a truly good fit. His ability to use both high and low vocal styles gives good contrast on a number of tracks, however there are a few songs where it is difficult to interpret what is being sung. The vocal skills of David Catmur (Drums/Backing Vocals) are also very good (hear Propeller and I Am Azerrad), and they bring a bigger sound to some of the songs, when you can hear the differences between the two voices.
Overall Impression — 10
Out of all the albums that came out last year this one is very close to the top (Had Them Crooked Vultures not also been released it could possibly be my favourite). As an entire album it's a great listen for anyone who likes what is deemed "alternative" music, however I would also suggest that there are some progressive elements to this album as well. Recently Tubelord released another album "For the Grandparents" which is most of the tracks on this album as acoustic versions (apart from Cows to the East Cities to the West, which is quite acoustic-y anyway and so probably couldn't be changed that much). As far as stand out tracks go I would suggest Propeller, I am Azerrad, Night of Pencils and Somewhere Out There a Dog is on Fire (I said the titles were a bit out there), but as an entirety the album is a fantastic listen as a whole, with the same line used as the very first on track one, Your Bed is Kind of Frightening, as in the last lines of Our First American Friends. If there is one criticism I have of the album it's that while as a whole the 40 minutes is a very good listen, it can be hard to distinguish tracks until you've listened to it several times, and it wasn't until I heard For the Grandparents that I actually understood some of the lyrics. If lost or stolen I would definitely purchase again, and would encourage others to do so.