Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning

2007 should have belonged to Arctic Monkeys. More festival headlining slots than you could shake a stick at coupled with a superb follow-up to their record-breaking debut album meant the year was there for the taking.

But dodgy sound at Glastonbury robbed them off their crowning moment, and the weather spoiled their giant near-homecoming gigs at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

So ‘Crying Lightning’, the first peek at their new album Humbug, represents something of a crossroads for the Sheffield band.

Sessions with Josh Homme in the Mojave Desert led to speculation that the Monkeys were about to go Seriously Rock. But ‘Crying Lightning’ seems to be very much a bridge from Favourite Worst Nightmare to their new era.

Turner’s vocals are low in the mix, well underneath spindly and spidery guitar work. They are as breathless as ever, but it’s not typically Arctics singalong fare. Nor is it really a dancefloor filler like, er, ‘…Dancefloor’.

But it’s very much a grower, and an interesting indicator of what the rest of Humbug might sound like. Perhaps this year, with a return to the big time at Leeds and Reading festivals, they will finally hit the stratosphere.

Again, this was originally published on Muso’s Guide.