Grandaddy are one of those bands who have always existed on the fringes, fiercely adored by a loyal if modestly-sized bunch of fans, while the rest of the world remains fairly ambivalent to their existence.

But, like them or not, their sunny electronic pop presence has always been a comforting constant.

After 14 years, Grandaddy announced their intention to split a few months back, frontman Jason Lytle saying that their efforts simply weren't paying off financially.

It's a shame Grandaddy never made it bigger because they've had some great radio singles - the infectious 'AM 180' from their 1997 'Under the Western Freeway' or 'Now It's On' from 2003's 'Sumday' could've been hits.

It must irk them to see young upstarts on the block, like the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, come from nowhere and, amid a frenzy of music journo hyperbole, sell bucketloads of their debut albums.

Their fourth and farewell outing, 'Just Like the Fambly Cat', is a slow-burner, starting with a piano instrumental looped around a child's musings about their cat, suggesting that Lytle perhaps never really did get over the demise of his boyhood moggy.

The tone is similarly sombre on 'Guide Down Denied' –"I don't wanna be the story of the guy who tried", Lytle sighs a little poignantly, his idiosyncratic vocals sounding deflated.

However, as is always the case with Grandaddy, any moments of melancholia are short-lived, spliced with punchier little numbers, which demonstrate once again that the bearded ones are among the great indie pop hooksters. 'Jeez Louise', the first single, is all infectious California harmonies infused with trademark electro wizardry, while 'Elevate Myself' is just damn catchy.

So it's farewell to Grandaddy, a band perhaps too meek to inherit the earth. But we'll miss them all the same.

Anne-Louise Foley