The Zutons, Liverpool's first great band of the 21st century, have just returned home from an extended stay in Los Angeles. It felt in every sense far from home for the quintet, and would have been a nightmare had they not fallen in with some Hispanic Texans along the way who, in the words of frontman Dave McCabe, "saved us from ourselves."

They'd been in L.A. for good reason: to record their third album, You Can Do Anything, a brilliant record and comfortably their best 55 minutes to date. "Why L.A.?" Dave asks. "Well, sometimes you've got to go a million miles from home in order to discover yourself, you know? It was time for a little soul-searching, I think, and we also wanted a different vibe this time. L.A. certainly gave us that." The album was produced by George Drakoulias (Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes), who captured the band at their pulse-quickening, rambunctious best. An inspired pairing, clearly. Yes? "I'll be honest with you, la," Dave says, "I'd never heard of the bloke, but I had been told he was good. And, right enough he was. Admittedly, he was a little nervous at first, but then I'd be nervous if I was a happy American facing five moody Scousers. Wouldn't you?" The moody Scousers reference is pertinent here. You Can Do Anything may well be the best Zutons album to date, but it also frequently threatened to be their last. But then that's always been the best thing about this lot, the rough blending with the smooth, McCabe emerging each time afterwards that little bit more shambolic and even more enigmatic. But then this is a man with a 60-a-day laugh, a skewed worldview and a large dollop of cynicism. "I may be cynical," he points out, "but I'm Scouse cynical, with humour, and that's the best kind. Take my word for it."