For ones so young the Arctic Monkeys seem to inhabit a strange netherworld of a fantasised British past coupled with a stoic – some might say, laborious – traditional sound. By now, we are familiar with Alex’s Turner’s terrain, his musical landscape is the antiquated world in the mould of an E.P. Thompson study. It’s populated by shady types who hang about abandoned industrial estates who enjoy foaming pints of real ale and shy boys wondering what time the sullen girl behind the broken biscuits counter clocks off at.
Now, after Josh Homme’s sweaty-man tutelage he unravels these yarns over meaty, neanderthal mega-riffs – smashing two cultures together that don’t belong.
Yes, it’s still Alex grumbling on about chip pan fires and shell suits but it’s terribly unsettling and ill-judged – like Alan Bennett starring in Sons of Anarchy or the American version of Shameless. Some things are better when they’re not so shiny and cocksure.
Originally published on state.ie