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10 Underrated Arctic Monkeys Songs

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As we gear up for the imminent return of Arctic Monkeys to the UK and wish our local venues will once again be filled with their presence, the globe is simultaneously rediscovering their favourite band.

We are again allowing ourselves the pleasure of immersing ourselves in the quintets plethora of hidden treasures and overlooked anthems. In a bid to build anticipation surrounding the unknown, we have taken it upon ourselves to re-discover 10 seriously underrated Arctic Monkeys tracks - from a cover of a Nick Cave classic to a usually forgotten gem from their debut album.

'Stickin’ To The Floor', When The Sun Goes Down Single (2006)

In the days far off the polished sound of their present, Arctic Monkeys huddled in Matt Helders’ garage, creating abrasive sounds with signature snarling vocals. Encapsulating Arctic Monkeys in their pubescent prime, ‘Stickin To The Floor’ is often an overlooked masterpiece. Signalling exactly when and how the foundations were laid by Alex Turner and co. for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, this particular track is the 4th b-side to feature on the ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ single release.

'Electricity', R U Mine? Single (2012)

Released specially for Record Store Day 2012, ‘Electricity’ is the sexily charged yet subdued b-side to the mammoth ‘R U Mine?’. The screaming guitar juxtaposes against Turner’s velvety voice. The curdling of the two creates paralleled feelings of tainted lust and fear of the unknown. The flurry of pleasure contrasts against the menacing fear of the undefined, making this tune a seductive mystery.

 

Riot Van, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)

‘Riot Van’ has been absent from Arctic Monkeys live sets for twelve years, allowing this quiet promotion of civil-disobedience to undeniably slip beneath the radar. ‘Riot Van’ is a sweet serenade of debauchery, brutality and teenage hiccups with “the boys in blue.” A saccharine tale littered with sarcastic wit: ‘Riot Van’ is a firm (yet usually forgotten) fan-favourite.

 

Red Right Hand, Crying Lightning Single (2009)

This rip-roaring, re-imagined version of Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ could easily be miss-construed to be an Arctic Monkeys’ self-penned track. Like PJ Harvey’s and Iggy Pop & Jarvis Cocker’s version of the cult classic, the boys in the band have injected themselves into the veins. A spat chorus, a rocky, sinister twist on the original minimal melody and an eerie crescendo; ‘Red Right Hand’ is firmly their own.

 

Secret Door, Humbug (2009)

A cyclone of sentiment splits ‘Secret Door’ into two equal parts - the tempting tongue-twister which dominates the majority, and the emotional, breathless breakdown fondly taking over the latter half. One of the most underrated tracks from Humbug, the passionate ‘Secret Door’ is often overlooked amongst the mainstream giants of ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Pretty Visitors’. That, however, does not tear away its brilliance.

Put Your Dukes Up John, Leave Before The Lights Come On Single (2006)

“Change your tune/and change your hair/or you’re not going anywhere” they chant, flicking the V-plates to the mainstream moguls of the music industry. This cover of ‘Put Your Dukes Up John’ - originally by Miles Kanes’ The Little Flames - expresses Arctic Monkey’s former spiky, DIY attitude which brought them stardom, in a startlingly raw fashion. Their overview was pretty sharp back in the day and is perfectly embodied in this forgotten track.

 

Love Is A Laserquest, Suck It And See (2011)

If Humbug was the first pivotal stride, then Suck It And See was the fork in the road where Arctic Monkeys veered into their present-day persona. The latter record, however, is still a marvel, and contains a smorgasbord of championed tracks, including ‘Love Is A Laserquest’. A nostalgic exploration of an obsessive love turned sour; the track features a crooning Turner carefully plucking on heartstrings in arguably his most carefully created song. Cue the tears and grab your hankies, your past is coming back to haunt you.

The Bad Thing, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

The difficult second album was not so strenuous for Sheffield’s premier foursome, however, Favourite Worst Nightmare is very often overshadowed, and ‘The Bad Thing’ is almost always left by the wayside. This groovy track is tainted with the lyrics of dangerous infidelity, glorifying disrespect and sinister motives - making ‘The Bad Thing’ Marmite. A track hardly seeing the bright lights of the live show, the jury might be out in the Monkeys’ camp, but you cannot falter the urge rising in your stomach to adorn your dancing shoes.

 

The Blonde-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap, Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair Single (2011)

Ask a die-hard Arctic Monkeys fan which song deserved to become a full-fledged single and a good portion will cry ‘The Blonde-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap’. Released as a b-side to ‘Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and exclusively on the Japanese version of Suck It And See - ‘The Blonde-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap’ is a stellar offering. Dominated by the grungy guitar line and a menacing yet mysterious vocal performance from the bands’ frontman, the track takes you to a place where you enjoy the sadistic pleasure of prickling skin and raised hair on the tape of your neck.

Matador, Da Frame 2R/Matador (2007)

The number one, underrated Arctic Monkeys track - ‘Matador’. Essentially a five-minute instrumental rapidly ramping up the pace in the succulent final minute, ‘Matador’ drips attitude and sports a cocksure mentality. Choppy changes, abrasive control and experimental enjoyment; ‘Matador’ highlights that Arctic Monkeys did not abide by anybody's rules in 2007. Take a bow, boys.

 




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