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Listen: New Arctic Monkeys b-sides

Written by Michael Carr on May 30, 2011

With the release of their fourth studio album, Suck It & See set for June 6, and having just let their first single Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ tireless Sheffield lads the Arctic Monkeys have just released two b-sides to go along with it, showcasing their ongoing leaning toward stoner rock and away from Brit-pop following their work with Josh Homme on their third studio album Humbug.

The two tracks I.D.S.T that stands for If Destroyed Still True, which the press release informs me is in reference to something that school kids would inscribe in their desks when declaring their love for another classmate (please tell me if you actually did this in the comments as I missed this), and The Blonde-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap represent very different energies. I.D.S.T sounds almost like a Black Sabbath song, or to be more realistic here a Wolfmother song, with an up-tempo rhythm, fuzzed out guitars and even a guitar solo, all clocking in at just under two minutes. The Blonde-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap, besides having the worst song name in recent memory (just ahead of I.D.S.T), showcases a more relaxed side to the band’s sound, calling to mind the more ethereal moments of the same influences you can hear on Humbug, and from what we’ve heard so far, Suck It & See as well.

In this critic’s opinion though, it all just sounds like a bunch of British schoolboys who got together and ripped of Queens Of The Stone Age in some misguided attempt to recreate the British Invasion (an interesting example of a plagiarism inspiring more plagiarism), and completely lacking the sense of force and power needed to make this music work. Besides, with bands like Sleepy Sun, Dead Meadow and Bardo Pond taking the same stoner vibe but doing it a hell of a lot better why waste your time?

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