Did anyone get a visit from the Arctic Monkeys tooth fairy last night? Except, rather than taking my discarded teeth in the dead of night, she instead took away my inhibitions and dropped ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ under my pillow.
Arctic Monkeys kicked off the fifth era last night with the slow burner that is ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, kindly leaving us with a brand new video to hypnotically hold our gaze in the process. This isn’t the first time that the Sheffield lads have turned up uninvited either; instantly making themselves at home without even using the coasters provided. Nevertheless, we’re just pleased to have them back.
What I always love about Arctic Monkeys is that when they perform an unheard track live, it immediately becomes on par with the sighting of a U.F.O. People will immediately take to social media declaring its existence as other believers revel in excitement. Its magnetism attracts the press who can only cautiously speculate upon eyewitness accounts. And at the end of it all, the only evidence to its existence is a shaky handheld account from the ‘chosen few’. Was it a blur? Or did I really hear Alex Turner ask me to ‘pucker up’?
As Matt Helders faithfully sets the pace, the brooding riff famously heard in all of those eye witness accounts proudly rings out. O’Malley’s bass (much like my body hair) is modestly scattered in all the right places. Turner’s voice menacingly booms overhead. ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ oozes pure sex appeal. The U.F.O. has landed.
It’s a track of modesty and plays solely on anticipation and build-up. Helders’ input is rather uncharacteristically reserved throughout too; this perhaps signals the subtle hip-hop influence that has quietly run through Arctic Monkeys in all its percussive simplicity. The drum groove instils a sense of impending doom as a wall of echoing feedback amplifies with each pre-chorus.
The modest bass and drums allows the guitar riff to drive this track whilst keeping the focus firmly on Turner’s voice and his lyrics throughout. Without a doubt, ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ most definitely picks up from where ‘R U Mine’ left off in terms of lyrical content and aesthetic style. It’s the hangover of ‘R U Mine’.
All in all, this track just further proves that Arctic Monkeys are the musical equivalent of Game of Thrones. Every encounter leaves you instinctively hungering for more as you stroke the metaphorical beard that grew whilst waiting (for what seems like years) between each episode. Months after the series has ended, you begin wonder if it was even that great. How could anything possibly be that great? In hindsight, maybe you were just caught up in the excitement. Blinded like a lovestruck teenager. However, once you’re finally reunited as we have been today, you realise that was real. It really was just that fucking good. 9/10