Arctic Monkeys have to be one of the only bands to have maintained their upward momentum from the very beginning. With several awards, two Glastonbury headline performances and not a bad record in sight (despite the suggestions of some snooty hacks here and there), there’s no mistaking the boys’ talent. Forthcoming new album AM (released on the 9th of September) looks set to continue that trend in swaggeringly cool fashion, so to mark the release of the band’s fifth LP we gathered a few of our contributors together and came up with some definitive moments from their already illustrious back catalogue.

When The Sun Goes Down (2006)
Pre-quiff and when they were still music industry infants, ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ emerged as the band’s second single. Sometimes, the hype which surrounds a band before they’ve released more than a couple of tracks is unfounded, and fades when they release their debut middle of the road LP. Sometimes it isn’t. Despite DJs up and down the country originally mixing The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ into ‘WTSGD’ since its inception, a second number one less than three months after their first secured Arctic Monkeys as something special. Recently making an appearance in their Glastonbury encore, the Monkeys proved that they haven’t forgotten the songs that began it all. MR

A Certain Romance (2006)
WPSIATWIN, hyped as it was by Gordon Brown et al, was still always destined to become one of those records that soundtracked the life and times of a certain generation. These tales of underage drinking, funny cigarettes and birds in clubs that never looked at you twice before forgetting your name were the perfect accompaniment to our own lives, and this track is the final sentimental say on that particular chapter. You know those days where you went to school and over the course of six hours you loved your mates, fought them, hated them and then loved them again ad infinitum? This is that. After all, they might overstep the line, but you just cannot get angry in the same way. JA

No Buses (2006)
Arctic Monkeys B-sides are better than your favourite band’s greatest hits. Fact. I could wax lyrical about the first time I ever heard ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ or how every song on Humbug changed my life but even then the earthly constraints of the English language wouldn’t be enough. Strangely it was the first time I heard ‘No Buses’ that I believed the hype; discovering Arctic Monkeys properly is the only evidence I have that any hours wasted away on MySpace dedicated to scoring indie points weren’t really a waste at all. It’s a song with the power to conjure up an inevitable predestined feeling of nostalgia for something that’s not even happened yet and break your heart with its earnestness; it leaves those Fred Perry-adorned lads, previously seen jumping to the roof with the venomous riffs of ‘Teddy Picker’, suddenly weeping in a pitiful heap of heartache. BER

Brianstorm (2007)
A significant moment in the discography of Arctic Monkeys, the first release from Favourite Worst Nightmare could easily have buckled under the weight of all the pressure that being the biggest new thing in the UK undoubtedly held. Naturally the Monkeys saw fit to return with an absolute thunderstorm of a track. A two-fingered salute to the weirdoes of the biz powered by tentacular drumming from Matt Helders, ‘Brianstorm’ is the sound of being stuck in a frantic and frenzied Hall of Mirrors, something probably not unlike the whirlwind of fame the band found themselves in from 2006 onwards. JA

Do Me A Favour (2007)
There was a time circa 2009 (see their rather puzzling Reading and Leeds headline sets) that Turner and co. were trying to distance themselves from WPSIATWIN and Favourite Worst Nightmare. Big singles like ‘A View From the Afternoon’ and ‘Teddy Picker’ were expunged and replaced with covers of Nick Cave. ‘Do Me A Favour’ on the other hand has remained a live constant since it’s release. A microcosm for the sonic evolution of the band, ‘Do Me A Favour’ wouldn’t be out of place on any of the Monkeys’ four LPs. It has the belting sing-along refrains of their debut (try and listen without shouting ‘perhaps fuck off would be too kind’ at the top of your lungs), the musical aggression of Favourite Worst Nightmare and the lyrical craft of Humbug and Suck It And See. It never feels dated, never out of place and will remain a fixture on Arctic Monkeys’ setlists for years to come. TR

Secret Door (2009)
Whilst Humbug is much-maligned – unfairly so – the truth is that it did polarise people. It also went some way to whittling down the Monkeys’ fanbase. The Hackett beer-chuggers left, deciding to attend Enemy gigs because any band who went to the desert and named their songs ‘My Propeller’ weren’t for them. It’s a shame, too, because songs like ‘Secret Door’ and ‘Cornerstone’ were made for grown men to bellow at gigs whilst they fall about drunkenly holding their mates’ shoulder. ‘Secret Door’, in particular, shows how abstract Humbug was in places with a bizarre chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-chorus formula. The delight is all in the lovelorn strings and Turner drawl, though, which showed that just because Arctic Monkeys had got weird in the desert, they hadn’t ever stopped being wonderful. JDR

Love Is A Laserquest (2011)
Off the back of his break-up with his supermodel girlfriend, Turner finds himself in romantic and reflective form on ‘Love Is A Laserquest’. Deeply engaging, the track is so poignant because it sees Turner ditching his rigid kooky-adjective-describing-abstract-noun formula for something more human. “When I’m hanging on by the rings round my eyes” he tells us, before debating whether he will ever find a better method of “pretending you were just some lover”. The imagery is enticing and heartbreaking and sees Turner at possibly his most confessional. A beautiful, cinematic experience which sees the frontman delve into depths of lyricism previously unexplored. JDR

Contributors:

Joe Abbitt
Maddie Russell
Bella Eden Roach
James Daniel Rodger
Tom Ritchie

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