Boyish and clean-shaven, Arctic Monkeys may not have the look of a stoner-rock act, but they’re getting better and better at sounding like one.
“Do I Wanna Know?", the British four-piece’s newly released single as well as the lead cut from their forthcoming album, AM (9 September), reveals a growing control of this heavy (for them) mode. Anchored by a throbbing guitar line and crunchy percussion, "Know?" is a steadier take on the murky, stomping style that was all over 2009's Humbug. Or, to be more recent, it's like a cleaner, slower-burning "R U Mine?". The pace is very deliberate, and even the wide-screen chorus has the feel of a monitored explosion. Thumbs up. But lest you fear that the Monkeys have gone overly self-serious, the lyric still boasts crafty (Alex) Turner-isms like "Simmer down and pucker up" and "Maybe I'm too busy being yours to fall for somebody new." And this is to say nothing of the video (found below), which is a loopy animated melange of sound waves, shapeshifting sexpots, and nightmarish fantasia. Arctic Monkeys = talent + wit + style.