One question surrounds Arctic Monkey’s fourth album: was the sluggish, indulgent ‘Humbug’ a mere pimple on the band’s previously flawless complexion, or something far more lasting – a cancerous growth that has since spread to slowly kill off the band’s legacy? The simple answer is… well, neither. ‘Suck It And See’ is no worse than ‘Humbug’, nor is it any better. It’s simply different. With the exception of the previously leaked pub rock bollocks of ‘Brick By Brick’, it makes for Arctic Monkey’s slowest album yet – mid-paced when at its speediest, without the jubilant hooks of old nor the hunter/gatherer balls of the band’s desert record. It is, ultimately, a nice indie record, and what that leaves us with is something far more distressing – the fact that Artic Monkeys, like the rest of us, are growing old. The ‘Mardy Bum’ days are over – the band are ok with that, even if we’re not. The effort, then, is applauded loudly, while the result receives a polite two-finger clap.

By Stuart Stubbs

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