Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See (Domino)
June 6, 2011 by Daniel Gill
Sometimes a band comes along with an album that can’t be topped; Arctic Monkeys are one of these bands. Their debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ is one of the greatest indie albums to grace the air waves, the majority of bands around now will never reach the pedestal set by the Arctic’s in 2006 and only a few bands have. So, instead of the band trying to recreate their debut they’ve intelligently veered away from it and their music has matured over the past 5 years. This has equalled not so great results in 2009’s ‘Humbug’ but then very impressive results in this years ‘Suck It and See’.
After hearing the first two leading singles from this album, the songs ‘Brick By Brick’ (which sounds like it should be in a Tarantino movie) and ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’, it seemed like the band were heading to that infectious hard rock territory with the guidance of Josh Homme. However this doesn’t happen and it seems like these two singles are actually the odd ones out when it comes to the other ten tracks. The rest of the album floats along with the speed of Alex Turner’s Submarine EP, there’s no complexity to it, it’s just Alex Turner purring his fables which are accompanied by swooning guitar sounds. It all just seems like traditional British pop music, but this is what the band does best.
Lyrically this album sees Turner’s song writing rise to its very best, over half the album contains content about heart ache and romance and the lyrics hit you as if you’re reading a hopelessly romantic teenagers diary yearning after his true love. It’s not poetically perfect as there is the odd line that leaves you bamboozled, but the heart has been poured out in these lines and with the mistakes, the lyrics still sound clumsily beautiful, just like a first love should be. The majority of Turners song writing appeals towards the youth of todays Britain with his Dandelion & Burdock references (‘Suck It and See’) and teeth clashing kisses (‘Reckless Serenade’), this has been the focus throughout all the Arctic’s releases and doesn’t change with this one. Then there’s the gem of a line like “That’s not a skirt girl that’s a sawn off shotgun, and I can only hope you’ve got it aimed at me” which is bound to be used by lads out on student nights up and down the country. And “I heard an unhappy ending, it sort of sounds like your leaving” which has the premise to be heartbroken teens new Facebook status’.
The album ends with ‘That’s where you’re wrong’ which takes you back to ‘A Certain Romance’ from their debut. It’s surprisingly one of the more upbeat songs on the album and it ends the album on a high. As the last note hits, it makes you think why didn’t they employ this creativity and craft when making ‘Humbug’?
After all the superstar living in the USA when it all boils down to it, Arctic Monkeys are a true British band making true British music. The groups sound on this album exemplifies this and so does Alex Turners superb song writing. Their style has changed and they may have lost fans but this is what happens when bands grow up. What’s important is after listening to ‘Suck It and See’ deep down you always know that the Arctic Monkeys will always be the bunch of lads that you love from Sheffield.