The noughties were a wonderful decade to grow up in, sure we had landfill indie like Pigeon Detectives – but we also had Arctic Monkeys who were the first proper rock n roll band born in a recent decade. But… whatever has got to the Sheffield lads on this sixth album, please keep it because I am having absolutely none of it. If you’re a fan of the Arctics and are still in denial about their downwards trajectory then perhaps this isn’t the review for you.
Opener Star Treatment is a myriad of Goldsmith art dropout cliches most commonly pedalled to unimpressed girls at bars in the hopes they’ll snog you for a Red Stripe. It’s a song that you just know wears a turtleneck, smokes menthols and “doesn’t really get” why anyone would hate The Beatles. Alex Turner has essentially changed his name to Quentin and moved to a sketchy flat in New Cross to get away from his aggressively middle class upbringing. “Maybe I was too wild in the 70s?” – I think you’ll find it’s because you were actually born in 1986, matey.
American Sports has a horror movie-esque cacophonous piano that Hitchcock would have probably loved. Turner is trying so damn hard to be #edgy and bourgeois, that he just comes across like a know it all who probably needs a smack. I’m not suggesting that’s what we all do, but then again maybe if this continues. When a band have belters like Do I Wanna Know?, Suck It & See and Black Treacle in their back catalogue, this entire record fails to meet even the most basic of standards.
For a track entitled The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip, there is probably more excitement in an a4 piece of paper. I was all set to hear about actual monster trucks and acrobatics, but no we instead have Alex Turner talking about pushing buttons and stetson hats over some clapped out fairground muzak.
DISCLAIMER: I really have tried to be very nice about this record. But sometimes there is no ignoring the fact that nothing is sacred in this world anymore, not even our precious Arctic Monkeys. Noel Fielding once said he didn’t hate Coldplay because it was cool, he just hated them: I feel that same statement now applies to Sheffield’s no longer finest sons. If anyone needs me, I’ll be googling other famous people from Sheffield to see who is the best fit for restoring the city’s honour.