Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I didnt like the Arctic Monkeys. I always lumped them in with Oasis and Kasabian as one of those English lad-rock bands that sit well with the typical drunken English lout in a football shirt. In a word, Britpop.

It is with much delight that the third album from the band, Humbug, changes my perception entirely. Here, under the guiding hand of Josh Homme, is a band trying to shake off this image. They basically went into the desert and got stoned. The result is a strange combination of scorching desert rock and blues with a poetic undercurrent.

The first four songs are stellar. Almost fit for a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. The single "Crying Lightning" is a grower and it's such a change of pace from their earlier work. The almost psychedlic caress of "Secret Door" is soothing and yet forboding almost like a strange high from the band's peyote experiments.

The downfall of such ambition is in this case a lack of melody and structure that scuppers the album. It's a trip in musical form and from a band i had previously written off, it's a trip I'd be willing to take again.

Verdict: **** (4/5)

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