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Album Review

Arctic Monkeys, 'Suck It and See'

June 6, 2011

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The list of “next big thing’’ artists who failed to meet expectations is long. These scrappy Brit rockers managed to hit the heights in their homeland in the mid-2000s and make a respectable name for themselves stateside, if not quite as big a commercial splash. With their fourth album, they settle nicely into a solid career as a guitar rock band as interested in frantic danceable rhythms as smoother, but still fidgety, ballads marked by lush, reverb-laden crooning. Standouts include the thrusting, uptempo jam “Brick by Brick,’’ the stealthy rocker “Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’’ — which offers a nice bit of feedback bite — and the swinging “All My Own Stunts.’’ Sometimes it’s unclear what leader Alex Turner is going on about, but the melodies are so sticky and his method so pervasive that it’s easy to go along with couplets like “bite the lightning and tell me how it tastes/ kung fu fighting on your roller skates.’’ Elsewhere, he’s in a more straightforward romantic mood, extolling the virtues or bemoaning the wiles of the fairer sex on the title track and “Restless Serenade.’’ (Out today)

SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Brick by Brick’’