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Ultracheesy Nostalgia

Alex Turner. A cool baby. I love the cut of his jib. 'Tracky bottoms tucked in socks' in A Certain Romance to 'leather jacket collar popped (like Cantona)' in No. 1 Party Anthem. All my worlds came together when I heard that Cantona line. Life was class - until I found out the official line was supposedly 'antenna' but I'm still not having it. Anyway, that journey is class for me. Young lads telling you 'don't believe the hype' before smashing out a first album that made you stop in your tracks. That brash stuff from the early years also came at a perfect time for me. I was still in school, eager to blow my computer to smithereens through the medium of Limewire. Remember being young - intrigued by music and the vastness of it all? Self expression through sound. Being consumed by the race to finding more tunes you could relate to and in turn blare out of your Sony Ericsson. This Arctic Monkeys timeline from 2006 or so also allowed me to seamlessly follow their natural progression from that raw brilliance in Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not to the near poetry in Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Who the F**k Are Arctic Monkeys?


Not sure if raw is even the right word. Maybe it's lazy making that link between youthfulness and rawness. I was raw - more sleeping out the alarm than musical genius, and I still do that. From the start I definitely made a connection to that 'fuck it' vibe they carried and I'm not on my own on that. Nearly sure I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor was essentially banned from the Burrow because of the carry on when whoever was in charge of music threw it on late in the night. Don't know if I've made this up in my head or not but something tells me bannisters were broken one night? Maybe not. I'll also never forget being out one night in Galway somewhere close to 2013 and the opening of Brianstorm rang from the speakers - which led to an unnamed friend to jump a mile in the air and smash his bottle where he stood, before telling the bouncer - "I know I know, I'll walk out myself." That switch these tunes flicked - class, man. Divilment.


AM now feels like it was maybe a hint of the shift from those earlier tunes to what comes now. Mad Sounds, for example, was right down my alley so you could imagine my excitement coming across The Last Shadow Puppets - but that's for another day. If memory serves me correctly Do I Wanna Know was released in the build up to AM and I remember thinking - Jesus, that is a cool tune. That whole album is a masterpiece. Coolness moulded into 12 tracks. Heading to and from Kildare and Galway every Sunday and Friday for college/work (and your mother to wash your clothes) - this album defined this era. This was before you fought over the AUX, so the CD sat in Noels car for probably years - becoming the unofficial backing track to eager Sundays and hungover Fridays.


I sincerely doubt this is the message Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino wanted to convey but for me there is a definitive link to the reality of adult life that makes you completely embrace the weirdness in a way you might not have in the years prior. I got absolutely lost in it. The Ultracheese - if I was pushed to it, could maybe be my favourite tune of any of Turner's stuff. "Get freaked out from a knock at the door / When I haven't been / expecting one / Didn't that used to be part of the fun, once upon a time?" - that line resonates so clearly with today's world. Remember the days of knocking a door and seeing if your friend's in? Doesn't really happen anymore. You'll get a text to say 'outside' or 'will I knock?' - which is why your heart often sinks when the doorbell rings. Nobody told me they were coming. First thought - 'did I order an Apache' - no. Second thought - 'TV licence' - no grand I paid that, robbing bastards. Third thought - 'dead'. I kind of missed that sort of craic in my late teens because the age of the internet hit big time and I always got that warning before someone's Punto pulled into the gate. I also just missed wearing massive jeans and brown shoes to pubs. Blessed. Saying that I left school in the middle of an economic crash so that evened itself out. I've gone off on a tangent here. What was I talking about?


I hated looking for a deeper meaning to poems and novels in school. I sat in the back row, very right hand seat which was a decent spot for sleeping undetected. But give me a tune or an album that peaks my interest and I'll look into it to the point of lunacy. Of course - there's people who wish Arctic Monkeys stuck with that original style the whole way through but that's boring isn't it? I'm not the same person I was 15 years ago so I don't particularly see the realism in a bunch of lads spending over a decade touring the world to write about the same problems. They don't have the same issue getting to the top of a queue in Sheffield - jumpers don't need to be swapped. Having said that, who am I to say those opinions are wrong? The great thing about music is it's all subjective and the conversation and debate aspect of it all is a bit of craic too. Regarding Arctic Monkeys or Alex Turner - here's hoping for the next masterpiece sooner rather than later.



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