Arctic Monkeys - 'R U Mine'

One-off single that's a brilliant slice of 'Humbug'-style riff-ery

Arctic Monkeys - 'R U Mine?'
Video: Arctic Monkeys - 'R U Mine?'
Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Ignore the Prince-like nature of the title spelling, ‘R U Mine’ is a riff-tastic, 70’s indebted monster. With its mountainous Free-like fret work, harmony vocals from Turner and Helders and fills a-plenty drum work, 'R U Mine' is the band chomping at the bit to go back to their Desert Session, Josh Homme produced best. Sure, it’s more ‘Humbug’ than ‘Suck It And See’ , but that doesn’t mean that the track is lacking a distinct sense of melody. Au contraire!

The riff in the chorus feels instantly knowable, as if its just waiting to get man-handled by a million spotty kids in instruments shops, huddling over their first electric guitars and trying to find the right power chords, failing manfully and just plumping for a bad rendition of ‘Smoke On The Water’ instead.

Alex’s vocal delivery is full of machismo - it feels like he’s become his 50’s rocker look and is singing with the appropriate level of vim, spit and vigor. Still, the biggest surprise might be Helders’ falsetto-vocal break down in the bridge which turns up the white boy funk, recalling another Desert Session acolyte: Jesse Hughes. ‘R U Mine’ sounds like a band in love with the sonic possibilities of their guitars again. And it plays like the best sort of dumb fun you can have.

Priya Elan

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