They must have been expecting the backlash. Once upon a time - just before their enjoyable debut 'A Public Display of Affection' was released in 2006 - The Blizzards were hailed as one of the hardest-working bands in the country, purveyors of top-quality pop-rock tunes, and a delight to experience live. The album brought its own success, too; but in the ensuing year and half, it's caused them to be dismissed in some quarters as 'one-trick ponies'.
Whether they've taken such criticism on board consciously, we'll never know - but 'Domino Effect' certainly displays a more expansive range for the band, half-shaking off the 'cheeky chappy' label they've been shackled with in favour for a more grown-up sound. Michael Beinhorn (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn) has returned to oversee proceedings once again, and the American producer, for the most part, does a concrete job in guiding the sextet through their new-found maturity - particularly on the huge, bombastic 'Silence Is Violence' and the brass-laden 'Bad Thoughts'.
That's not to say that a band renowned for their upbeat, infuriatingly-catchy songs have gone completely boring on us (although anthemic closer 'Time To Decide' is distinctly Snow Patrol-esque in its demeanour); gleeful lead single 'Trust Me I'm A Doctor', for example, harkens back to their debut musically, while peppy, ode-to-pre-flight-Valium-binge 'Three Cheers for Modern Medicine' recalls the tongue-in-cheek tone of 'Fantasy'. The four-part-harmony backing vocals - reminiscent of Queen, at times - work particularly well throughout, too, bolstering Niall Breslin's husky croon fittingly, even if it means that several songs are in danger of becoming a single mass of similar tempos and styles, at times.
Naysayers will be most surprised by the fact that The Blizzards can do downbeat, though: 'Postcards' may not completely work, but the '80s-styled, Chris Isaak-esque ballad is interesting, while 'The Reason' is darker, dancier and possibly heavier than anything else on here.
Are backlashes irrepairable? Who can tell. If nothing else, though, The Blizzards have stepped up their game - which surely deserves at least 37 minutes, 22 seconds of your time.