The fourth full-length album release from Sheffield’s biggest export since the decline of the steel industry.
Alex Turner’s claim that Suck It And See “hasn’t travelled well” across the Atlantic, with several large chains in the US censoring its ‘sexually suggestive’ title, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Despite aping their influences to the nth degree on previous albums Favourite Worst Nightmare (Nick Cave), and Humbug (Queens Of The Stone Age), Arctic Monkeys - lyrically at least - have remained stoically British.
This, the band’s fourth LP, is no exception. And where Oasis spent several decades trying unsuccessfully to channel the spirit of John Lennon circa 1965-’67, Turner - wittingly or not - succeeds: “I etched the face of a stopwatch, on the back of a raindrop, and did a swap for the sand in an hourglass” (Piledriver Waltz); and: “You’re rarer than a can of dandelion and burdock and those other girls are just postmix lemonade” (Suck It And See).
Not as heavy as Humbug but far less bleak than Nightmare, musically, the album represents a logical progression. The boys are better musicians, they’re at one with a Big Muff, they’ve taken their time, and it shows. James Ford’s production is neat, and studio footage - however contrived - reveals an almost torturous attention to detail.
Suck It And See doesn’t rewrite any rulebooks, but it follows the best of them. A gem of a band (almost) hitting their prime… Thomas Porter