With Liam Gallagher sitting pretty at 31st in the singles chart with his bafflingly Beatles-esque ‘The Roller’ it’s to be expected that Alex Turner and the other stalwarts of Arctic Monkeys would try and cash in on this pop music piggy bank – or not. Speculation aside the only surprise bigger than the fact that Arctic Monkeys have launched a new track (complete with video) entirely out of the blue is the mind-boggling stylistic changes in the band.
After the rather timidly-received Humbug (2009) and the self-indulgent ‘Mardy Bum’ neglecting Reading set that followed it seemed like the Arctics had two options – drop Josh Homme and strip back the complexity in favour of a back-to-basics pop record a la ‘I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. Or give up trying to please the narrow-minded sector of their fanbase who whinge at dark lyrical content and eerie production and just keep experimenting with what makes them happy.
The resultant single is certainly closer to the latter. The opening salvo of “i wanna build you up, brick by brick, I wanna break you down, brick by brick, I’m gonna reconstruct” set to Kinks-heralding power chords and back-and-forth lyrics seems like a personal message to the ever challenged Monkeys fan – the nation’s indie kings are gonna keep experimenting and reinventing themselves on their collective whim, regardless of pressure to regurgitate their original style. When the chorus kicks in, with more ‘oo’s and ‘aah’s than you could shake Paul McCartney at, the listener can’t help but rejoice at the latest reincarnation of these indie heavyweights.