—You're Gonna Get It
new Miles Kane! heyo!
—You're Gonna Get It
new Miles Kane! heyo!
—R U Mine
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #3
With an O’Malley signature riff so potent it will have kids pressing their faces on the guitar shop window for years to come, “R U Mine”, indulgent spelling notwithstanding, is a mercurial sex grenade. “Satisfaction feels like a distant memory” wails Turner atop a rock and roll symphony as slick and refined as it is filthy. This is the song that has the Arctic Monkey community in a perpetual, tortuous limbo, excitement piqued for new material that will hopefully build upon its serpentine fury.
And though it may seem banal to mention it at this point: the Agile Beast is absolutely massive on this one.
—The View From The Afternoon
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #4
The first song from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, “The View From The Afternoon” is a tidal wave of earnest indie rock. The song is driven by Turner and Cooks’ guitar interplay that flits from eardrum to eardrum like a Nadal v. Federer at Wimbledon. The verse is even catchier than the chorus and the bridge, a headbanging avalanche, is catchier than both combined. While “The View From The Afternoon” may lack the polish and finesse of later efforts, it is the fervent embodiment of the guitar rock mantra that led the Arctic Monkeys to the pinnacle of the indie world in 2006.
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #5
“Cornerstone” is the most narrative track on Humbug, and is the only chance to stick one’s feet on solid ground. The song recounts a lovelorn trek through various pubs in an effort to recapture that ephemeral flicker of romance. “Cornerstone” can feel flippant at times, but the line “Can I call you her name?” will sit on your chest and haunt you for days and weeks. Jamie Cook’s reverberating guitar is the song’s real center, urging the listener to skip from cloud to jilted cloud. One listen and you will understand the sharp, simplistic beauty.
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #6
The first single from Humbug, “Crying Lightning,” marks what is perhaps the greatest musical departure in the band’s history. Thundering bass and a coiling, hypnotic riff unfold in a blinding haze that scoffs at the critics and fans who pine for stagnancy. Equally disarming and ensnaring, “Crying Lightning” is the girl in the denim jacket across the smoke-filled bar.
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #7
“Catapult” is a B-side, yes, a B-side to “Cornerstone”, neighbouring “Fright-lined Dining Room” and “Sketchhead”. The verses are brief; O’Malley’s bassline is a lit fuse imploring listeners to salivate for the explosion. Cook’s chorus riff is furious and impellent with Turner balancing vocals and shrill, atmospheric slides. The solo sounds as if it were played on guitar pickups affixed to scrap metal, a sublime mirror to the narrative depiction of a hypermasculine brute who will steal your girl and blacken your eye without dropping his cigarette. Did I mention that “Catapult” is a B-side?
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #8
“Fluorescent Adolescent” is the perfect pop song. A melody of ineffable allure juxtaposes a midlife-crisis, our protagonist lamenting the days when she could “get it in her fishnets”. Nick O’Malley plucks away at the tune that has been or will be in your head for days; a tune punctuated by Jamie Cook’s dreamy guitar echo. The track fades away to a confluence of Turner and Helders’ vocals in a festival friendly singalong. The kind song that reminds one of a turf war between gangsters and clowns. No? Me neither.
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #9
An organ prelude to insanity. After banging your head senseless in the mosh pit to this tune, you may find it hard to believe these are the guys that came out with “Mardy Bum”. “Pretty Visitors”, the Arctic Monkey’s heaviest effort to date, is a powder keg of distorted slide guitar, lightspeed verse vocals (the song that gave us: “What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?”), and colossal drums; oh the drums. Matt Helders proves “The Thunder Thief” to be an apt moniker, waging war against his kit with inexhaustible vigor. You would expect his arms to fall off from strain if he weren’t half full of pins and rods like a rock and roll Wolverine in joggers.
—Too Much to Ask
Arctic Monkeys Top Twenty: #10
“Would it be outrageous to say we’re either shouting or we’re shagging, docked in tempestuous bays?” politely inquires a lovesick Turner, on this “Fluorescent Adolescent” B-side. “Too Much To Ask” is a cheerless cascade of post-romance sentimentality. Delayed guitars and a charming, middle eight, fingerpicked by Turner, make for dreary Sunday sailing through a tide of romantic discord.
If you like this, or want to place virulent hate-mail in my ask box, make sure to check out 20-11 here.