Monday, 6 June 2011

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

When I first saw the Arctic Monkeys at Leeds Festival in 2005, they played the smallest stage there was and to be honest, they could have filled the larger one and drawn a big crowd on the main stage such was the buzz and riotous nature of the performance. This performance was 2 months before they released their breakout single; the incredibly infectious 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.' '5 minutes with the Arctic Monkeys' had been released in May 2005 containing 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' and 'From Ritz to Rubble;' both on the bands first album.

Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys at Leeds Festival 2005.
Picture courtesy of 
Whilst standing in the crowd with my friend, there were people climbing on various bits of tent to catch a glimpse of these fresh faced lads from Sheffield. I'll admit that I was there on the off chance and had heard their name. My only real clear memory of the gig is Alex Turner imploring the crowd to not believe the hype. This obviously said with tongue in cheek. I think he knew he was destined, with his band, to conquer the charts. 

There was such a buzz around the place. The tent was quickly closed up and I was so glad I was in that little venue. I witnessed something special. The band already had a rabid following who knew all the words to all the songs. I was taken aback.

Minimal. The bands new album
I have seen Arctic Monkeys a few times since that day in August 2005 and none of the concerts have captured that energy and enthusiasm. Fast forward nearly 6 years and 6th June sees the release of their 4th album 'Suck It And See.'

It isn't often I go out to buy a new release record but I have done with this one. Upon my first listen, it was a worthwhile trip. My first impression is that the album is heavier than previous efforts but also a lot more accessible than 2009's 'Humbug,' (although Joshua Homme still makes an appearance on 'All My Own Stunts).'

The two lead tracks 'Brick By Brick' and 'Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair' are great starters for the album. There are some other great tracks here though. Library Pictures contains some great lyrics (especially the the last verse) and some sabbath like 'Iron Man' style riffs! Heavy stuff indeed. Another standout for me is 'Piledriver Waltz.' This track was featured on Alex Turner's Submarine EP from earlier this year. The album contains great titles for songs (as ever) to back up the great sounds in a nicely packaged record.

At the moment I am still listening to, taking in and enjoying this album. I think it's one I will be playing for a while. I think Arctic Monkeys deserve to be lauded in the national media and I hope this album does well for them. They're a fearless band who will do things their way. Alex Turner is good enough to keep writing great songs for a long time to come. Personally, it's fantastic to see the band evolve and stop singing about going to disco's! If you want to listen to songs that sound like the first album; go listen to it. It's great. For now, I'm gonna enjoy the now.