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June 4, 2011 12:46 am

Arctic Monkeys: Suck It and See

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Arctic Monkeys

Suck It and See

(Domino)

 

Four albums into their stride, the Arctic Monkeys have discarded the clattering buzzsaw tempo of their early days and located a darker, more enduring groove. Suck It and See follows 2009’s Humbug, where they decamped to California and experimented with the massive riffs and fried psychedelia of stoner rock under the tutelage of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Homme’s influence lingers on “Brick by Brick”, where the Arctic Monkeys sound like a QOTSA tribute act; they’re too snappy to convince as genuine stoners.

Elsewhere, more rewardingly, they import a burnished 1960s vibe into their sound, reminiscent of frontman Alex Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets side-project, with the singer softening his biting yap into a croon while his bandmates lay down doo-woppy bass lines and reverb-treated guitar parts. The lyrics circle repeatedly, like worshippers, around the theme of womanhood, treated as a marvellous natural phenomenon (“She’s Thunderstorms”) or a bittersweet object of desire, as when Turner sighs “Be cruel to me, for I’m a fool for you” on the title track.

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