not a member? click here to sign up
Suck It And See
The Monkeys' mojo is still in fine working order
Sarah-Jane Boylan, 07 Jun 2011
Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too when I put the record on. It goes something like this: “Yes Mr Turner, we know you’re an icon of rock ‘n’ roll godliness, we know you’re a bit of a whizz on the old geetar, we know you’ve been getting your thing on with Josh Homme and going all psychotropic desert rock on us, but have you written anything as awesome as ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ this time?”
If your internal narrative ran anything like mine, then you might as well stop reading now because the short answer is “no”.
If, however, the twists and turns Arctic Monkeys have taken through the rock ‘n’ roll bazaar have left you breathless or, at least, curious as to the next stage of the journey, then Suck It And See (despite the unbearably naff title) will most certainly not disappoint.
With James Ford on sonic sat nav, Turner and Co. have created a surprisingly poppy record that’s humming with leaden guitars, big rockin’ soundscapes and lyrics that only one as lauded as Turner could get away with: “Bite the lightning and tell me how it tastes/ Kung fu fighting on yer rollerskates/ Do the macarena in the devil’s lair/ But just don’t sit down cos I’ve moved yer chair” – a line so ridiculous it makes the cynic in me wonder if he’s seeing just how far he can push it.
There are strong notes of Britpop in there, particularly on opener ‘She’s Thunderstorms’, while the title-track ‘Suck It And See’ and album closer ‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’ hark back to the kind of soft, slippery vocals, thumping bass and walls of jangly guitars that finely-tuned ears might trace to the classic British indie rock of The Smiths and The Stone Roses. The opening line on ‘Love Is A Laserquest’ has more than a hint of Mozza about it as well.
There’s some scarily Kasabian-esque epicness on ‘Brick By Brick’ too, a song that actually sounds more like Kasabian than Mr. Meighan and Co. do, while ‘All My Own Stunts’ lands somewhere close to Queens Of The Stone Age territory, with tense riffs and those floaty, snarling vocal lines Josh Homme is such a master at (he’s doing backing vox too).