Let’s talk about growing up. By which I mean natural maturing, not the plunged-into-re-evaluating your life suddenly BECAUSE OF REASONS.
Like a Harry Ramsdens opening opposite Ye Old Chippy, the Arctic Monkeys of Josh Homme-produced “AM” retain the basic ingredients (how I imagine cramming together the attitudes of Stewart Lee, Jack Dee and Les Dawson to a rock beat) with the slightly different flavours and serving suggestions of a bigger brand. From the corner of the Internet marked ‘professional malcontent’ comes the usual shrill moaping – “Oh they’ve changed!”, “Oh, they’re not like they used to be”, to which I have to reply, “Pfffffffttttttt”, or howsoever mature responses come about in such circumstances.
That they pushed so many teenage boys in provincial towns into Battle of the Bands competitions to play songs called “Ay oop petal” and “I Lost My Heart In Todmorden” shouldn’t be considered such a bad thing. Better that than Luke’s Friend (I read here).
The track ‘”Do I Wanna Know” is an absolute face-slapper, down and dirty with the romance of the first verse cut to shreds as the story unfolds. Introducing Americans to “summut” and “settee” is just an extra bonus. With the album overflowing with crackers, it’s a hard choice to settle on just one song, so maybe I’ll bend my rules a little later on. For sheer force of will, this is one of the great Britrock songs of the age.