Album Review: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

on Saturday, June 18, 2011
Arctic Monkeys - 'Suck It And See' (UK Release: 6 June '11) // Words: Emily Solan

Having been disappointed by their previous efforts, or what can effectively be titled as everything since 'Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not', the snippets I heard before the entire album had not encouraged my trust in the Arctic Monkeys. With expectations from Alex Turner’s very impressive soundtrack to 'Submarine' beforehand, 'Suck It And See' is actually everything I’d hoped for and more.

Opener 'She’s Thunderstorms' harks back to the witty lyrics of their early days, with all the glamour of The Last Shadow Puppets, if they’d lived on a diet of The Strokes rather than Scott Walker.

'Black Treacle' may not have the best lyrics on the album but the wondrous guitars and harmonies remain, win me over completely. It certainly does help my point that this is the album they should have made 4 years ago, but this debate is the same for most band of the era. Would it sound as good without the maturity that they’ve developed over the years? Probably not, which is a shame, considering life without 'Humbug' assaulting my ears would be very good indeed.

Released as the first taster from the album, the heavy guitars and bass of 'Brick By Brick' didn’t enamour me to the album, and doesn’t really represent the album as a whole. If this weren’t here, it would be a near-perfect album. Oh, and as much as I love Matt Helders, his crow-like vocals do nothing for the song.

Thankfully it’s followed up by the wondrous 'Hellcat Spangled Shalalala', as ridiculous as the song title is. It’s another one of those swooning, crooning pop songs that Turner et al. do so well. Even though it does get heavier throughout the chorus, I can already imagine everyone singing the "shalalalas" come festival season.

'Don’t Sit Down ‘Cos I’ve Moved Your Chair', the first official single from the album, is a completely ridiculous one. Whilst previous album 'Humbug' may have been part-produced by Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age, it’s on this track that his influence is most visible. Riff-tastic, almost psychedelic at times, and utterly baffling lyrics, it’s a nice break from having to think, if only for 3 minutes.

'Library Pictures', alongside 'DSDCIMYC', is one of the weaker tracks on the album, the thunderous drums and heavy bass remind me far too much of 'Brianstorm'. Not only that, but the jerky angular guitars sit very uncomfortably with the rest of the album.

'Reckless Serenade' proves to be a blessing in disguise. Swooning lyrics dancing around on the tip of your tongue, somehow the Yorkshire accent sounds really attractive here. And this comes from a Yorkshire inhabitant that usually abhors the gruff tones. Another of those with a slight twinkle to the guitars, and a lovely tambourine peppered throughout, it signals a vast improvement after the brief disappointment period.

'Piledriver Waltz' presents a complete reimagining of the track from Turner’s 'Submarine' soundtrack. Instead of the gentleness of Turner’s, we’re presented with a harsher sound, with added drums and bass, less of a romantic helplessness sound, more like a weathered old singleton serenading the latest squeeze. Just as beautiful as the original, and I think I’ll forever be enamoured with the idea of going for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel.

'Love Is A Lazerquest' is another ridiculously titled track, and yet another slow sweet melody that really brings out the hopeless romantic within. Befitting his swoon, the lyric "I’m not being honest, I’ll pretend that you were just some lover" almost pulls on the heartstrings as much as the entirety of '505'. This song of love lost along the way saunters along, not too fast, not to slow, aching ever so slightly, perfect for those long and painful nights that we all suffer.

STREAM: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See by fadedglamourblog

Titular track 'Suck It And See' is another slow romantic number, managing to keep the mood alive whilst using the analogy "You’re rarer than a can of Dandelion and Burdock", it starts almost where 'Cornerstone' left off on 'Humbug'. With a similar pace, and swooping guitars, this is the former track’s more mature, and much sexier older brother (or sister) that is possibly not only one of the best tracks on the album, but one of the best that I’ve heard all year. And ending on the lyric "Be cruel to me because I’m a fool for you" just adds to the reminiscing lustfulness of the track.

Seemingly taking less inspiration from their own back catalogue, and looking more at the beautiful sounds they can create, 'That’s Where You’re Wrong' ends a truly fantastic album that revives all hope in the band. A mature and gentler approach has revealed a romantic side to the band that they’ve previously shyed away from at times. It may not be the perfect album, but its damn near close and one of the best albums of 2011 so far.


'Suck It And See' is available to purchase at your local retailer, iTunes and

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