Arctic Monkeys

Suck It And See

Written by: TL on 18/06/2011 16:49:17

When Arctic Monkeys raised all hell with their debut album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" back in 2006, I was one of the youngsters happily riding their bandwagon up front, but after seeing the band play dull shows at Roskilde Festival on two consecutive years, I became much more skeptical. Hence I graded the two following albums "Favourite Worst Nightmare" and "Humbug" somewhat more hesitantly, only to have to hear them later on and think "damn, they really are pretty good too, maybe I should have graded them better". Hence, when the fourth LP "Suck It And See" was announced, I agreed with myself to try to approach it with a more open mind this time around.

Now however, after several spins of the album, I'm right back in the position where I'm not unconditionally loving what the 'Monkeys are doing. While I find "Suck It And See" a more accessible album than I did "Humbug", it still sees the band continue down the road that leads away from the youthful energy they were bursting with on "Whatever People Say..." and towards more down-beat and retro-inspired rock'n'roll. In fact, the lone exception to this trend comes in the buzzing, noisy "Library Pictures", which betrays that the band may very well have learnt a few tricks from "Humbug"-producer Josh Homme.

The rare wildness of that song's guitars then make for a stand-out moment all on its own. However, while other lower-powered attempts at rocking, such as "Brick By Brick" and "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair", are obviously also meant as highlights, I actually find that the first half of the record which they occupy, is far less memorable compared to the later half. I've seen other reviewers express regret about Arctic Monkeys slowing things down so much, but in my opinion, songs like "Reckless Serenade" and "Piledriver Waltz" have some of the coolest and most memorable lines of the album, given extra staying power by the warm charisma of Alex Turner's vocals.

Overall, Arctic Monkeys have matured to the point where there really isn't far from top to bottom on this record. About half the songs have lines and parts that make them almost as memorable as earlier hits, while the remaining half will stick less yet still provide a warm, laid-back listening experience. Only if you're looking for the more up-beat attitude and noise of the early Arctic Monkeys might you be disappointed, because there's not much of that here, and you might be better served looking into bands like Cage The Elephant or The Vaccines. If you're down for more of a chill time however, "Suck It And See" delivers just about as surely as the previous two records have.

Download: Reckless Serenade, Library Pictures, Piledriver Waltz, Suck It And See
For The Fans Of: The Vaccines, Young The Giant, Oasis, Franz Ferdinand
Listen: myspace.com/arcticmonkeys

Release Date 06.06.2011
Domino Records

Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair by arcticmonkeys

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