Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.
April 20, 2011
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The Arctic Monkeys are famous, cashed up, arrogant and probably overloaded on drugs. I wouldn’t expect anything less. The history for this band goes something like this; bored, they recorded some demo albums, gave them out to fans, who promptly uploaded said tracks onto Myspace. They became popular so quickly, there was no time for fame to ruin their musical bonafides. Dance-rock tracks about drinking cheap wine and getting knocked back was what really appealed to the masses. Arctic Monkeys’ humble beginnings of simplicity were overwhelmed by overnight success and it seemed they were a little caught off guard, which is part of the reason their first two releases are among my most played albums of all time.
After trying their hand at being world-wide rockstars, they decided to make some world-wide rockstar friends. They found Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age, who produced their third album. I am still unsure whether they wanted to go in a much darker and heavier direction or it was simply Homme’s influence but Humbug had a very grungey stoner-rock feel, not present on their previous records. This feel is basically where they pick up from with the new releases Brick by Brick and the ridiculously titled Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.
This new track is the manefestation of journey the band has undergone to this point. Perhaps they have matured musically, maybe they are too drug adled or maybe they are just fucking sick of playing I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. I know I would be. The dance-rock sensibility is long gone, replaced with heavy distortion, a bass line as dirty a street corner and Alex Turner’s non-sensical lyrics crooning over the top.
Turner encourages the listener to “run with scissors” and “go into business with a grizzly bear” but the only thing he warns against; “don’t sit down cause I’ve moved your chair.” Seems to me that if you can handle a freaking GRIZZLY BEAR, you would probably be able to handle a relocated chair, but that is besides the point. The heavily distorted bass and guitar solo are so reminiscent of later QOTSA relases I couldn’t resist making the comparison. Combined with pretty bizarre lyrics, the heavier rock and Britpop attitude work together to make a pretty decent track. Unfortunately, it has nothing of the addictive hooks or attack of their earlier work, but it will satisfy fans. It will be interesting to hear the rest of the album and to see how much of an influence James Ford had in production, because very little of his dance pedigree (Simian Mobile Disco) has been seen so far. If Josh Homme had any lasting influence, let us hope that it was to improve Arctic Monkey’s interest in putting on a decent live performance, because it was severely lacking last time they were in Melbourne, especially compared to QOTSA.