Review:arctic Monkeys-when the sun Goes Down

Do we like the Arctic Monkeys new single 'When the sun goes down'? Dunno, ask Graeme, so read on....

Chay Woodman

Date published: 19th Feb 2006

Arctic Monkeys - When the sun goes down (Domino) oot noo!

All aboard the bandwagon. So far we've had Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and The Futureheads, not to mention the myriad copycats in between. Now it's time for Arctic Monkeys to get some of that pop chart limelight doing the "indie" circuit. A Brit nomination, number one single, and the fastest-selling debut album in chart history certainly weigh in their favour - but does the hype dull their bite?

New single 'When The Sun Goes Down' begins low-key, in stark contrast to the super-charged intro of '...Dancefloor'. Speaking of which, it's time for Monkeys to step out of that certain single's shadow, time to see if we wanna spend more than a brief moment in their embrace.

The downbeat opening minute tells the tale of a seedy local pimp, frontman Alex Turner declaring "he's a scumbag don't you know" - then, bang!, a fix of something poptacular kicks in, crashing, staggered guitars thumping us in the right direction. The moment all 15 year old fans were waiting for, a chance to howl along and dance about in the mirror. Turner takes us back to '95, the golden days of Albarn's faux-geezer mockney, his own thick Sheffield twang cutting through the tune like an over-sharpened knife.

So does the music justify the massive Arctic Monkeys boom? Publicly, the Monkeys remain modestly tight-lipped on the whole issue, a cheeky "Don't believe the hype..." tagline their only comment - but rumours of the band wanting a higher-profile slot than offered for the Carling Festival suggest there's more than meets the eye here.

Whatever way you slice it, the material just ain't that jaw-dropping. Sure, it's catchy as fuck, it bobs along at a nice pace and the lyrics are so tongue-in-cheek you can't help but smile - "she don't do major credit cards, I doubt she does receipts". But there's really nothing here to suggest that the music-buying public won't turn their back on this a couple years down the line. The Darkness, anyone?

And it's a shame that this happens - that the industry inflates bands to these oversized proportions, pushing them beyond all reasonable expectations. Because, when you get right down to it, when you look past all the bullshit...'When The Sun Goes Down' is a good wee tune.

Graeme Johnston


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