ALBUM: Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See

Release Date: June 6th, 2011
Label: Domino Records


The sterling reputation that the Arctic Monkeys have carved for themselves in the space of three albums means that the band’s fourth effort ‘Suck It And See’, is obviously laden with expectation. The melancholic ‘Humbug’ may have left many cold, but a return to their signature joyous guitar-pop see the band on spectacular form, and displays their continuing songwriting aptitude.

Although, as album opener ‘She’s Thunderstorms’ steadily kicks in, we could have been forgiven in thinking that the darker edge to their sound was being retained. The song hauls itself along at a rather dreary tempo, carried by some twinkling guitar work, and it’s not until second track ‘Black Treacle’ that we really learn what ‘Suck It And See’ is all about. Chord driven and relentlessly upbeat, the pleasant simplicity here makes for an enjoyable and undeniably fun listen.

Indeed, from here, the album carries on in much the same vain. ‘Brick By Brick’ impresses with its soaring chorus and some quirky guitar breaks, and the lumbering ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’, whilst certainly having a sinister edge to its sound, remains fantastically danceable. This is not to say that this is a wholly jubilant release (songs such as ‘Piledriver Waltz’ break up the tempo with a more somber, introspective flavour), yet it without doubt sees the Arctic Monkey‘s lighter on their feet.

Vocalist Alex Turner turns in the album’s most commendable performance. Equal parts gritty and velvety, his lyrics contain some truly laugh out loud moments, and are steeped in heartbreak and romanticism, especially on ‘Love Is A Laserquest’, where he resentfully spits “I’m sure that you’re still breaking hearts with the efficiency that only youth can harness”. It’s interesting therefore that for the most part, the songs can remain so upbeat whilst dealing with such themes.

‘Suck It And See’ should be the album that Arctic Monkeys fans are craving. Content with simply reveling in their guitar pop grandeur, the band have given their devotees some beautifully written tunes that go a long way to cementing the bands status as one of Britain’s musical shining lights, making up somewhat for the curveball of ‘Humbug’.

Written by Tony Bliss