Our favorite Sheffield slickers are back with a new album on the way. Arctics’ fifth titled ‘AM’ is set to drop in November. They’ve officially released three singles, including “R U Mine?,” “Do I Wanna Know?” and “Why’d Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?”, so far and it’s sounding awesome, albeit sexually frustrated. Notice they’re all questions? I find it difficult to believe that any of these guys have issues in the romance department, but take a look at the track list and you might begin to believe otherwise. The lyrics from these songs take an abrupt turn away from the enigmatically poetic verses of Humbug and Suck It and See, which might seem like a step backwards to some. They pull if off well, though, with a heavy rock and roll edge. Check out the corresponding videos for “Do I Wanna Know?” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”
I would have dreams about Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane making music together and those dreams finally came true in the form of S.I.A.S. b-side “Little Illusion Machine” for which Sr.Kane provided the vocals. This is one of two songs that Arctics have released under the moniker “Death Ramps” which is pretty much just the band’s edgier alter-ego. This song is everything you’d have expected from a Miles Kane and Arctic Monkeys colab. It meets somewhere between “Rearrange” and “Don’t Sit Down (Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair)” with elements of “You and I.” It is something beautiful.
P.S. Download “Electricity,” Arctic Monkey’s last song from the Suck It and See era. Ergo, the last song they release before their next album (which is on the way woo-hoo). So much Helders. So much O’Malley. So many good things.
I was fortunate enough (understatement) to get tickets for the sold out Soft Pack/Arctic Monkeys show at the Glasshouse in Pomona this week. Though I’d already seen the Soft Pack once and Arctic Monkeys twice, I was really just excited to see them in such an intimate venue. Granted, Arctic Monkeys are one of my all-time favorite bands. There are times when I would rather stay in and listen to Arctics by myself than hang out with a lot of people–a slightly sad but true statement. And I’ve met and bonded with some of my best friends over Arctic Monkeys. They’re just one of those bands that if you love them, you loooooooove them. In any case, I was pretty stoked to see them again.
The Soft Pack opened for them and got the energy in the place really stirring. They’re just some cool dudes with cool style. Their beach-rock vibes are quite addictive and make for a pretty rad live performance. My only complaint was that their set was really short. I’d love to see them again, hopefully with a longer set list.
I don’t really know where to begin with the Arctics’ performance other than it was all around the best experience I’ve ever had at a concert. It completely exceeded my expectations–which were high, mind you, because Arctics have a reputation as being stellar live performers. Their energy was incredible, their sound spot on. And on top of that, the entire audience was in love. The fact that the Glasshouse is such a small venue (the stage isn’t really a stage at all, it’s more of a ramp) only amplified the experience. My only qualm with their set list was that it ended. Other than that, they played everything I would have wanted them to, including two of their S.I.A.S. b-sides, Evil Twin and R U Mine? They came back for an encore and played Suck It and See, Fluorescent Adolescent and closed with 505. I hate to sound melodramatic or trite, but this show was the closest I have ever been to perfection. I’m dying to see them again in another small venue.
UK essentials Arctic Monkeys are releasing a new single “R U Mine?” tomorrow, a b-side off their 2011 release “Suck It and See.” Arctics are constantly evolving, consistently progressing. I find if very difficult to argue with anything they put out. This song in particular is just incredible. It has a darker edge than the stuff they released on the album but a similar mystique, with brilliantly smoky riffs and thundering drums. An instant obsession. I’ve had it on repeat. They made a fun little video to go with it.
If you’re as obsessed with Arctic Monkeys as I am, you probably already know that they’re set to release their “Black Treacle” B-side in February, which will feature the songs that didn’t make the cut for the album. The following linked song “You and I” finally leaked the interwebs and it’s pretty fantastic. It’s more brooding than anything on the actual album. Some of my favorite Arctics songs came off of their B-sides so I’d strongly recommend you check ’em out.
Arctic Monkeys is a band that needs no introduction. They’ve released five music videos from their most recent album “Suck It and See” since September, three of which are the continuation of the same story. Mostly they’re just drummer Matt Helders being a badass. They’re some of the best music videos that I’ve seen in a while (not that I’d expect anything less from Arctics or from Focus Creeps, who directed them). I’ve put them in the order that makes the most sense to me chronologically. Motorcycles, crossbows and jail weddings if you’re into that kinda stuff. Warning: these are not G-rated so parental guidance is not suggested.
Music Video-Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Summer 2009, Sheffield quartet Arctic Monkeys released their third album, Humbug. Edgy, despondent and surrealistically philosophical it was largely ill received as it took a sharp turn from the poppy, streetwise and mostly observational Brit rock sound they’d established with their first two albums. Two years later it is evident that they made it out of their existential funk, stronger and catchier than ever with the recent release of their fourth LP, Suck It and See.
A sparkling culmination of the sounds they’ve developed over the years, this is could quite possibly be their magnum opus. The album flawlessly combines the cheeky pop and drop-heavy beats of their first two albums with the instrumental and vocal maturity of Humbug. The lyrics, though equally abstract as those of Humbug, manage to be more relatable and thus more enjoyable. Frontman Alex Turner seems to have emerged from the philosophical haze that inspired lyrics such as “My propeller won’t spin and I can’t get it started on my own” and is willing now to bestow his newfound wisdom.
Their maturity is evident in each track. The album beings with the mystically romantic “She’s Thunderstorms” and rolls over to the hook of the album, “Black Treacle.” Songs like “Brick By Brick,” “Library Pictures,” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” are reminiscent of Humbug meanwhile integrating the head banging drops of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare. The standouts of the album are “Black Treacle,” “Piledriver Waltz” and the album’s perfectly suited closer “That’s Where You’re Wrong.”
Perhaps the best representation of the album as a whole is its namesake track, a leisurely and smooth jam with some of Turner’s best lyrics yet: “I poured my aching heart into a pop song/I couldn’t get the hang of poetry/that’s not a skirt girl, that’s a sawn-off shotgun/and I can only hope you’ve got it aimed at me.”
Arctic Monkeys have grown up and moved on from the youthful conundrums and nightlife that inspired the albums the world fell in love with years ago. But they haven’t forgotten where they came from. They’re older, wiser and they’ve found their niche. Even if you were disappointed by Humbug, give this a listen or two. It’s not nearly as much of an acquired taste as the last and it just might provide redemption.