Suck It and See is the fourth studio album by English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, released 6 June 2011 in the UK and 7 June in the US, following their 2011 North American tour. The band worked with producer James Ford on this album and promised a more "vintage" style. The music video for "Brick by Brick" was released shortly before the album details were revealed on March 10. Drummer Matt Helders, however, confirmed that "Brick by Brick" will not be the lead single. On 19 March 2011, in an interview with NME, Helders revealed that Suck It and See will feature "some songs a bit more instant. A bit more poppy, certainly, than Humbug was."
It was revealed on 30 March that three thousand vinyl copies of "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair" would be released worldwide by the band as part of Record Store Day on 16 April. The following day it was confirmed on the band's official website that the track would be the album's lead single and that it would be available with B-sides "The Blond-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap" and "I.D.S.T." from 30 May.
The band settled on "Suck It and See" as the title after debating between titles such as "The Rain-Shaped Shimmer Trap", "The Thunder-Suckle Fuzz Canyon", "The Blondo-Sonic Rape Alarm", and "Thriller", according to the NME. The title is a reference to graffiti seen in a scene from Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange, as Alex DeLarge waits outside of a broken elevator inside of his decrepit apartment building.
The track "Piledriver Waltz" was first released on Alex Turner's debut EP, Submarine, where it was credited to Turner as a solo artist. It has been confirmed that the Suck It and See version would be a re-recording with the whole band involved.
On 30 May, a week before official release Domino Records streamed the entire album on Soundcloud. Within a few hours of being made public the first two tracks had reached over 10,000 listens each, and by the end of the week each had accrued over 100,000 plays.
On 25 August a teaser trailer for the Don Valley show DVD was released, it is unknown when it will be released.
Non-album song, R U Mine? is to be released with B-Side, Electricity on a 7" record for Record Store Day 2012, signifying there will be no more singles from Suck It and See. It is the first Arctic Monkeys album to have more than 3 singles released from it.
These days Arctic Monkeys are not a band singing songs about "f***ing taxi ranks", as frontman Alex Turner quipped recently. They made their last record, 2009’s bizarre Britpop/stoner hybrid Humbug, in a desert. One member, the drummer no less, has the mobile telephone number of one P Diddy. And the singer – a young man who, on arrival, did so much to quench British pop’s obsession with the empty idea that is ‘the working-class hero’ – now writes lyrics like, "Library pictures, of the quickening canoe / The first of its kind to get to the moon": a couplet more befitting Gandalf the Grey than it is Liam Gallagher.
Of course, this sort of buffoonery is to be encouraged. Still, it’s hard not to want the band’s fourth record to embrace the unconventional more than it actually does. Initial signs are promising. Many of the song titles sound like they were conceived by a drunk Butlins Redcoat. One is called Love Is a Lazerquest; another, Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair (one can only hope its sister song, I’ve Got a Whoopee Cushion and I’m Not Afraid to Use It, turns up as a B side). But for the largest part, Suck It and See isn’t the stubborn, radio unfriendly career swerve that Humbug proved to be.
If anything, it’s a halfway house between where many expected them to be going, and where they were. On one hand, it marks the return of actual tunes (Reckless Serenade, the hard-edged title-track) – stuff that you can hum – as well as, not taxi ranks per se, but kitchen sink musing about "chin-chewing" cokeheads (Black Treacle) and "damsel-patterned alleys, where you go for a smoke" (All My Own Stunts), two songs that will be embraced by anyone fannish about their early work. On the other, there’s now an oblique Dylan-esque romanticism to many of Turner’s lyrics and tunes (the title and contents of opener She’s Thunderstorms is lovely), few of which suggest their future as karaoke staples and some of which prefer groove, not just over melody but all other constructs of song. They fit a mould, but it’s an askew, mismade one.
If you were enjoying the band’s joyride into the weird, Suck It and See is a record that may disappoint in its convention. Personally it makes me wish they’d just given a chorus or two to Diddy and be done with it. But while the reins of pomp have certainly been reined in somewhat, it’s hard to shake the suspicion that Suck It and See is further evidence that Arctic Monkeys are still Britain’s best guitar band – albeit one that’d be even better if they ever decide to truly lunge into the unknown. User Comments