After signing a worldwide record deal with Korda Marshall's newly re-launched Infectious Records (previously home to Muse, Ash and Garbage) and scoring a trailer and soundtrack appearance for the US film (500) Days of Summer, Melbourne band The Temper Trap got together with producer Jim Abbiss (Kasabian, Unkle, Arctic Monkeys, Adele) to work on their debut album in early 2009.
Generally, early Australian reviews for the album were positive. Brisbane's Rave magazine gave the album high praise; "Some bands can only dream of a debut as auspicious as this. The Temper Trap have it for real".
In reference to Mandagi's voice, Michael Hann of The Guardian noted that; "with his voice, and a band this dynamic, he could get away with singing the racing cards",The Times online wrote that "the lead singer of this Melbourne four-piece, soars across a debut album with a voice that switches without warning into a rasping, edgy tenor with thrilling dynamic impact", whilst Keira Burgess of the BBC commented that; "Mandagi's falsetto vocal provides the axis around which the rest of the band revolves, displayed both in the often unintelligible 'Love Lost' through to the likes of sing-along synth pop 'Fader'".
However, not all reviews were positive, with music critic site Pitchfork Media deciding that the group is "defined by almost any measure except musical creativity or lyrical ingenuity", as well as noting that "when you adopt the trappings of revolutionary significance without showing much interest in advancing beyond the revolutions of twenty years ago, you sound ridiculous".
In Melbourne, coinciding with the launch of the album, the logo and title of the album were spray painted on pavements, including in Melbourne's central business district. Their debut album was released in Australia through Liberation Music on 19 June 2009. It was later released in the United Kingdom on 10 August 2009.