Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See


4.0
excellent

Review

by StanleyKubrick USER (2 Reviews)
May 30th, 2011 | 10 replies | 7,588 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Track 1: "She's Thunderstorms" (3:55)
The opening track starts with an almost eerie psychedelic guitar intro, but the song takes a completely different turn. The music on this song are actually quite interesting, it has a soft and poppy tone, but at the same time it also has a "tamed" chaotic feel to it. The guitars really shine on this one, they have a really soothing psychedelic effect that gets a bit loud at times, but somehow, it doesn't disturb the soft atmosphere and fits in perfectly with the song. Now, the lyrics are interesting. It sounds like a romantic song but uses very strange metaphors and almost nonsensical wording.
"She's been loop-the-looping around my mind
Her motorcycle boots give me this kind of
Acrobatic blood concertina
Cheating heartbeat, rapid fire"
The lyrics are a bit strange, but Alex sings them in a very soft and soothing voice, and in the end, it sounds quite nice. "She's Thunderstorms" is very emotional and that's what really draws you into it. My rating: 4/5


Track 2: Black Treacle (3:35)
This song follows the same recipe in pace as the last song, but it's lacking the passion that the first track had. This song is a bit poppy, it's very Hippie-ish and in all honesty, it just sounds like a happy Stoner song about black syrup in the sky. The lyrics, at least to me, make no sense. I think it might be about someone who is depressed, there's lines like this one that concur with that idea:
"Now its getting dark and the sky looks sticky,
More like Black Treacle, (than tar)
Black Treacle,
Somebody told the stars you are not coming out tonight,
So they found a place to hide."

"....And I tried last night to pack away a laugh,
Like a key under the mat,
But it never seems to be there when you want it."
But there are also some lyrics that seem to be referring to drugs or a drug trip, most likely hallucinogens, " Lately I've been seeing things, Belly button piercings, in the sky at night." and "Does it help you stay up late? Does it help concentrate?" again, these are just my thoughts, do with them as you may. Overall it's an O.k. song. My rating 3/5


Track 3: "Brick by Brick" (2:59)
This song sounds like something AC/DC would write if they spent a day in San Francisco during the "Summer Of Love" era in the late 60's. Despite the criticism I have heard regarding this song, I don't think it's that bad. It's actually quite catchy if you take them to listen to it a few times. I didn't like it at first, but one day it got stuck in my head, and I found myself singing the lyrics. As I said, if given the chance, it might grow on you. My rating: 3/5


Track 4: "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala" (3:00)
This is the first highlight of the album. Now, with a name like this one it would have you thinking that it was going to be another Stoner Rock track, but you will be surprised. This song is beautifully orchestrated. The song uses a really nice guitar effect that creates a soft psychedelic atmosphere which gives out a very romantic and soothing sound. This is the kind of song you listen to when you're sitting in a car with your girlfriend while you hold her close as you watch the city lights from a tall cliff at night. It's a wonderful ballad. The lyrics to this one are much more discerning than most of the other tracks on the album, but they are still a little out there. The chorus, I think, is the best part of the song. It's just Alex singing "Shalalala" over and over again, but it's the way he sings it and the voice he uses, that make this song an exceptional tour de force. My rating: 5/5


Track 5: "Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair" (3:04)
Josh Homme may not have been the producer or seriously involved during the writing process of the album, but he was there in spirit while they were writing this song. This song is pretty dark and seems a bit out of place on this album. A perfect analogy would be comparing it to "Cornerstone" from Humbug, a sweet and innocent sounding track in a dark, psychedelic album. This track, unlike the other songs, isn't romantic or a happy one. This song is a pure un-adulterated Stoner Rock track, and it's music video, which is one of the most trippiest things i have ever seen on a screen, depicts a pretty clear view of the transformation this band has achieved. It seems they've traded their dancing shoes for a bong and a lighter. The bass riffs are really heavy and the guitar solo at the end is really cool. This is definitely another "high"-light. My rating: 5/5


Track 6: "Library Pictures" (2:22)
Before the song starts, Alex decides to announce that he was wearing a vest during the recording session. Now in regards to the song, This is a HEAVY one. The song begins with a really strong drumbeat by Matt Helders, soon followed by Alex's singing and the guitars as they build up the tension...and then.....all Hell breaks loose. Instrumentally everyone shows just what they're made of on this one, Matt Helder's loud drum beats, Nick O'Malley's bass riffs at the beginning that build up the tension and anticipation as the guitars begin to quickly strum getting ready and then, BAM! a brief but mean jam of utter fury. The song then relaxes down to a psychedelic mellow break for a few seconds, followed by a countdown...3,2,1 and then a serious borderline Heavy Metal-like shred from the guitars as the band breaks into jam-out once again. This is followed by yet again, another resting period, but this one is bit more fast paced with the guitars strumming some Stoner-riffs. The energy that this song posses refuses to be tamed, and finally, they end with a mean chaotic jam. This is Stoner Rock of the "Highest" caliber. My only problem with this song, is that 2 minutes and 22 seconds is not enough time. As for the lyrics, once again, are completely enigmatic and strange. To me it's just Stoner nonsense.
"Been watching all the neon blossom flickering
You look as if you've all forgotten where you've been
Going riding through the Thunder-Suckle Fuzz Canyon"
- That makes absolutely no sense, and I think it refers to a drug trip, but it doesn't even matter because you're going to be too busy headbanging to even care about it's meaning. My rating: 5/5


Track 7: "All My Own Stunts" (3:52)
Guess who makes an appearance on this song, that's right, Joshua Michael Homme III. And what exactly does this song sound like, you ask? exactly what you expected. The song has an overall quiet, yet dark tone with Stoner-Rock like riffs and a slight touch of psychedelia.. Hmm, I can't put my finger on it, but there's a band i know that is known for these exact qualities. This is a really good song and well-worth a listen. There's also some drunken muttering at the end, which serves as some humor. My rating: 5/5

"Cause I'm from High Green...AND I'M HIGH ON GREEN!" - great quote.


Track 8: "Reckless Serenade" (2:43)
This song is very sweet, I can't find any other way to describe it. It also marks the beginning of the softer part of the album. It's a romantic one and quite poppy in a soft way. The song starts off with a really cool bass intro and there are some really nice guitar parts. But what truly shines on this song are two things: 1. Alex's singing is really smooth and soothing adding a romantic tone to the song. And 2. The lyrics, they actually kind of make sense this time. The lyrics are really sweet, romantic, and very clever at that. I recommend this one to the female fans, it's a good one. My rating: 5/5
"I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is I need
Call up to listen to the voice of reason
And got the answering machine."


Track 9: "Piledriver Waltz" (3:24)
This song was originally written by Alex Turner for the soundtrack of the film, "Submarine", but was re-written for the album. This is a really nice and soft ballad. It has much more softer, spacey psychedelic almost dream-like atmosphere than the rest of the songs and is very enjoyable. The lyrics are much more decipherable on this song and there is specific line that I thought was really nice:
"You look like you've been for breakfast at the heartbreak hotel
And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
Your waitress was miserable and so was your food
If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes."
This is a very good song and worth a listen. My rating 5/5


Track 10: "Love Is A Laserquest" (3:12)
This is another "love" song, and it's comparable to the previous track in it's soft sound. It starts off with a really nice drumbeat that is repetitive throughout the song, as well as a really nice guitar piece decorated with a slight psychedelic effect that creates a really dream-like effect. There's nothing else to say about this song, it's a bit repetitive but not necessarily in a bad way. The music creates the perfect atmosphere for Alex as he sings a rather emotional and meaningful song. My rating: 4/5


Track 11: "Suck It And See" (3:46)
This is the title track and it has a faster pace than its past predecessors in this softer part of the album. It is a bit catchy, but I honestly don't think it is anything special. I've heard two different meanings behind the title of the album and it's eponymous track, one is that it is a reference to the film, "A Clockwork Orange", directed by renowned filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick. In a particular scene there is painting of group of men together that was vandalized with penises and an added dialogue bubble saying, "Suck It And See". Another one is that "Suck It And See" is actually a slang term in the U.K., which is were the band is from, meaning "to try something new, or unknown", which seems to be the theme of the of the album. "Experimentation", or at least expanding where Humbug, which was in itself a new territory that was unknown to the band, left off. Now returning to the actual song, "Suck It And See", I didn't really find anything truly special in it's essence. It's a soft upbeat Pop-rock track about a girl, pretty cliche, but not bad.
My rating: 3/5


Track 12: "That's Where You're Wrong" (4:17)
The denouement, and just like it's predecessor, it's an upbeat pop-rock track. This one features some hint of Psychedelia with it's guitar effects and also there's a break in the middle of the song that features some psychedelic strumming. It's another romance-themed song, and it's actually quite enjoyable. It's also rather catchy after a few listens. I, and this is just me, was a bit disappointed with this song because I was expecting another really great ending like in their past albums. The passionate ending to Favorite Worst Nightmare, "505", is unforgettable track, it drew you in with it's soft piano intro and it continued to build up with every minute and finally erupting into a passionate climax, it was an experience. Then, there's the eerie darkness of "The Jeweller's Hands", with it's haunting psychedelic atmosphere that kept us hypnotized, setting the perfect mood for Alex's Jim Morrison-like lyrical poetry. It was almost ominous and it left us spellbound right to the very end. Compared to those two, "That's Where You're Wrong" is a bit weak, but it's not a bad song, quite the contrary, It's an enjoyable song, but not as memorable as it's predecessors. My rating: 4/5



B-sides & Bonus Tracks:

1. "The Blond-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap" - It's a pretty good song, it follows that dark Stoner Rock formula of "Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair. Definitely worth a listen, It's too good to be a B-side, in my opinion. My rating: 5/5

2. "I.D.S.T. - It has a great Bass intro, and it has a much faster pace than most of the songs on the album. It's a bit silly, but it's short and fun. My rating: 4/5

3. "Little Illusion Machine (Wirral Riddler)" - The Death Ramps strike again, but this time with and old friend to accompany them, the smart-dressed Paul McCartney look-a-like, Miles Kane. This song is heavy, mean, and catchy. Funny how these b-sides seem to be much better than half of the songs on the actual album. My rating: 5/5


user ratings (629)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • SigismundFreudian (3.5)
    (Pop-rock + Psychedelia + Hard Rock) Romantic lyrics + nonsense = Suck It And See....

    James Grant (3.5)
    If you mixed all of Arctic Monkeys previous work together, the chances are you'd end up wi...

    TheSpeedNirvana (3)
    Something I never thought I'd say about a rock album: It sounds pretty....

    IsrealWard (2.5)
    What appears to be such a strong album after upon the first listen it quickly ends up havi...

  • Joseph Viney STAFF (4)
    Arctic Monkeys are still a gang of close friends still very much in touch with their roots...

    Ali CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    A bold step forward which more than justifies previous meanderings....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NigelH
May 30th 2011



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

People frown on track-by-tracks, but this one is pretty decent. There are some definite grammatical errors, but not bad overall. Album is pretty good and I need to listen to it more.

MO
May 30th 2011



17336 Comments


Crazy summary.

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

StanleyKubrick
May 30th 2011



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

To NIgelH,

really? i like the track by tracks, i find them more informative. but thats just my opinion. I'm new so any feedback (both negative and positive) is much appreciated

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2011



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The problem I have with tbt's is that after you read them, and then listen to the album, the surprise effects are kind of spoiled, making the listening experience less exciting... But that's just my opinion.

Nevertheless, this review was well-written, pos'd it.

Digging: Amatorski - From Clay To Figures

Nikkolae
May 31st 2011



4381 Comments


i loved "2001: a space odyssey"

Digging: Corrupted - Paso Inferior

Firestarter
May 31st 2011



273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is growing on me fast. I think all the best songs are in the middle though, the start and end are a bit weak

mvood
May 31st 2011



816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I want to check this out now, which I didn't think I'd do after Humbug.

Polymath
May 31st 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's alright. I agree that the middle is the best.

newjunkaesthetic93
May 31st 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

At first i was suprised at how soft this is, but I actually really like it, and it makes "Don't Sit Down..." and "Library Pictures" stand out more.

Also, I saw them last night and "Don't Sit Down.." slays live, when the heavy riff kicks in it hits hard.

coffey182
June 3rd 2011



4 Comments


pretty good summary of the album and apart from the grammar errors, a good review. However "Suck It and See" is a great song, in my opinion...i pos'd it anyhowser..



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