Some Long Overdue Monkey Love
My love for Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys runs deep and is sometimes hard to keep under control. They first gave me the eye when their early demo, Beneath The Boardwalk strutted by me as a pimply youth. As the months passed, our flirting became more and more intense. By the arrival of their first singles, the Number One smashes I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor and When The Sun Goes Down, we were heavy petting like headstrong teenagers. Which we were. The Monkeys’ songs concerned nights out, drinking and awkward romance. Even more so than The Libertines; who had split up around the same time, they were the voice of youth in Britain.
Over time, my love has only deepened and solidified as the band transformed into the artful, muscular adult rock band they are now. They left their teenage years behind them as I did, and I was worried. I need not have been. Their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, was heavily influenced by Queens Of The Stone Age and Simian Mobile Disco. Instead of the tinny guitar and drums of their debut, they now wrote heavy riffs and specialised in dark, sexy dancefloor rhythms. Alex Turner’s vocals also differed, as he moved away from his playground/street smart urchin scribblings of old and now resembled a subtle, sarcastic young man who was, by the sound of his lyrics, listening to a lot of John Cooper Clarke. The band had well and truly grown up. By this time, we were red hot lovers.
After a year long absence they just turned up at my door again. This week saw the release of the video for their new single taken from the upcoming third album, Humbug.
Directed by their new BFF Richard Ayoade (from the much missed Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) the video is an awesome fit for the song. It contains the slightly ridiculous humour that was the backbone of Marenghi, and by the looks of it the band are well up for joining in the lark.
I just watched the live broadcast preview of tracks from Humbug at arcticmonkeys.com. It was fucking great. The album sound very psychedelic, which fits as Alex had said they were listening to a lot off Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Sabbath., Josh Homme, otherwise known as the coolest human being on the earth, produced 7 of the album’s ten songs. He took them to the famed Rancho De Luna in the Mojave Desert. “This is the record where they get weird, grow up and trip out,” He said.
I think I’m getting hot under the collar. I’ve got a tent in my pants! If you judged Arctic Monkeys before, listen to these two B-Sides from the Favourite Worst Nightmare sessions. You might just be swept away by them.