The last stadium indie band left standing, there’s always been more going on with these Mancs than the laddish clichés unfairly attached to them imply…

Courteeners More. Again. Forever.

Having scrapped an album along the way because it felt too formulaic, there’s no way anyone could call the 10 taut tunes found on More. Again. Forever. generic.

The opening Heart Attack is a perfect pop song about writing the perfect pop song, resembling Suggs fronting T Rex. Previous Parties and Take It On The Chin are equally forthright.

You keep waiting for Courteeners to sneak a filler track in there somewhere, but no – any song could be a single, which is all you could want from a pop album.

One Day At A Time and Is Heaven Even Worth It? are huge festival ballads, sure, but there’s a melancholy worthy of Stephen Duffy underpinning them.

Singer Liam Fray has been honest about the self-doubt that engulfed him before scrapping those first songs, but he’s plainly decided to have fun now his band’s status is assured.

This is the glorious noise of a band mucking about with renewed confidence and results in a high-water mark for 2020’s best albums from absolutely any genre, full-stop.

9/10

John Earls

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