While the metamorphosis of Alex Turner from doe-eyed Kes kid to LA party hustler took the best part of half a decade’s gentle persuasion, it feels like Miles Kane has been wanting it to happen since day one. In ‘Bad Habits’, the West Coast-dwelling duo’s first track together as Last Shadow Puppets in eight years, the Liverpudlian doesn’t so much sing, but screams mad-eyed instructions disguised as questions (“D’you wanna hold hands?” “Shall we slow dance?” It doesn’t sound as if we get the choice).
Only as the accompanying video slips in and out of reality – it’s bookended by two mischievous, friendly asides from Kane, and a jokey, bingo-style announcement from Turner halfway through about someone’s car outside – does the mood lighten, taking us from the sleaze and sweat of the Strip to the innocence of A Hard Days Night.
It’s a fiery return, alright. But with its lyrics delivered the way they are, and by the people in the places they’re in, what chance of understatement could there really be here? Built around sophisticated flamenco guitars that would sound subtle – romantic, even – on their own, Kane, with his numerous howls and yelps, turns it into a brazen, sordid beast. At times, he sounds closer to punk sleaze-king Stiv Bators than his usual Paul Weller.
All that’s left for producer James Ford and strings man Owen Pallett’s to do is lob in a bit of Bernard Herrmann-influenced orchestration, and boom: They’ve gone from sleepovers and Blue Ribands at each other’s mum’s houses to the panic room at Hef’s house. Unlike before, it’s as if they’re not holding anything back either. Just call them the lust brothers.