If you’re from Sheffield, there are a few things you have to do. You have to douse your pie in Henderson’s Relish. You have to order a pint of Jaipur on cask whenever you see it offered. Lastly, you have to like the music of Arctic Monkeys.
When they first burst onto the scene, the Arctic Monkeys were part of a new wave of Northern indie bands. Milburn, The Courteeners, The Wombats and Reverend & The Makers, to name a few, were all singing loud and proud about love, loss and their northern roots. It was enough to make any youth want to run out, get a guitar and start a band.
Which is exactly what I did. My band was called “Stark Naked in the Snow” and we had two practice sessions, wrote one song and then decided we were more fans than artists.
But since my attempts at a music career crumbled and burned, Arctic Monkeys have gone from strength to strength. Sure, the band’s debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, is obviously a classic, but its sound has evolved and matured with each release.
Favourite Worst Nightmare produced the Monkeys best track and Humbug saw them burn the midnight oil. In AM, the band became an old school rock group and Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino saw them evolve into a sci-fi inspired jazz-rock group.
And now, as we’re staring down the barrel of yet another evolution with seventh studio album The Car, I want to celebrate my favorite Monkeys album: Suck it and See.
Released in 2011, the band’s fourth record was written while singer songwriter Alex Turner was loved up and living in NYC.
It’s got a more spaced out, surfer vibe than the group’s other releases. And, as with all Arctic Monkey’s work, it’s packed full of excellent Turner lyrics. Phrases like “when she laughs, the heavens hum a stun gun lullaby” and “you look like you’ve been for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel and sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose” pepper the record.
But, it’s closing track “That’s Where You’re Wrong” that has always stuck with me as the album’s best.
It starts with a killer, old school riff that welcomes in Matt Helders’ thumping drums. Turner’s honey-like voice wafts over you as the track builds and builds. The song’s chorus is effortless and every element of the track are given a moment to shine.
It’s a triumphant end to a phenomenal album.