Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner may have relocated to New York to be close to MTV girlfriend Alexa Chung, but Humbug‘s biggest influence comes from the West Coast. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) produced the UK band’s third full-length, and his touch shows up from single “Crying Lightning” onward.
Even the songs Homme didn’t produce — like opener “My Propeller”— have an arid, heavy quality that makes earlier Monkeys albums sound all the more wound-up and anxious. It might be a step too far in the other direction, especially if Arctic Monkeys’ speed was your speed, but Turner’s lyrics stay biting as ever, and even take on an extra cruelty when there’s so much room to hear them.
Humbug is out today in the US. Listen to an album stream and watch them perform “Crying Lightning” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon below.