[14] Cigarettes After Sex, ‘Apocalypse’

CigarettesAfterSex-2017Remember Cigarettes After Sex? Not the post-coital phenomenon. Although, is that still a thing post-smoking ban? No one smokes indoors anywhere now, unless they’re really rock’n’roll like its very spirit Alex Turner or, um, Matt Healy. Anyway, let me know about cigarettes after sex.

The name appals the kids. Junior sneers. “It’s a bit…” Isn’t it? Kind of alienating. You know what they’re aiming for. Ooh, I’m a big fan of Cigarettes After Sex hahaha. Junior 2 is more fascinated by the song. “It’s like that man on the piano on Britain’s Got Talent,” she says, narrowing it down to, I dunno, actually I really don’t know. David Sneddon or something.

On its own terms, stripped of association, ‘Apocalypse’ is a bewitching little lullaby. Junior’s eventually singing along and that alone makes her hoist it up the fridge-based ranking ladder to 14.

Arctic Monkeys, ‘Crying Lightning’

Arctic Monkeys

They’re men now. They brood. They grow their hair. They sport beards. They make records with ginger gorilla Josh Homme. It’s a patina of manliness, though, with Alex Turner still whippet-thin, still a bit too Sheffield to be proper muscular rock’n’roll. ‘Crying Lightning’ seems a bit deeper, a bit less eager to let go and indulge in childish things, but then Turner goes and ruins it all with a reference to “pick’n’mix”. It doesn’t sound like an honest hiccup of salt-of-the-earthiness. It sounds like a sop to those who suspect they might be about to go all Hollywood. It sounds Peter Kay.

There’s a grower here all the same and a meatiness that neatly disguises the lack of – let’s face it, chaps – a song. They’ve always had that gift. Whether it’ll keep on giving, album after album, well, we’ll see. At least they’re only starting to look like Kings Of Leon, rather than buffing, polishing and dowdying up their music to sound like them too.

Cheerily bursting the Monkeys’ oh-so-serious bubble, Junior giggles at their name. “Is the monkey singing now?” “Do they dress up?” “I liked the first bit but I didn’t like the last bit.” That last remark’s obviously a withering comment on the transience of pop favour. You can search for the pick’n’mix all you like, Alex; it’s gone.

Everybody Wang Chung tonight: