Buy: Amazon For me, the prospect of a Josh Homme corrupted, sexed up Arctic Monkeys had the potential to send me into a blood thirsty rage in order to obtain a copy of this new album. Luckily I did not have to resort to that to possess a copy, However, there remained a nagging feeling that time could judge it to be the move of a desperate band. When a band with a well known, well worn style of their own is produced by someone with a similarly distinctive but utterly different trademark, things can go horribly wrong. These doubts, however, last approximately 15 seconds into Humbug. 'My Propeller', the band's finest moment to date, begins with a huge riff, settles into a mood reminiscent of Nirvana's 'Heart Shaped Box', before later taking in Pixies melodies and even a bit of trademark Pavement wonkiness. Oh, and the lyrics are pure, unadulterated filth: "My propeller...won't spin, and I can't get it started on my own". That or the song is a fairly rudimentary tale of aeronautical unreliability. Three songs stand out the most, Firstly 'Dangerous Animals' an obscure song title for...well an obscure song, giving way into a scampy guitar riff that owes more than a debt of gratitude to electopop legend Gary Numan's classic tune 'Cars'. Turner's phonetic letter-by-letter spelling of the title track in the chorus ups the menace, as do the more opaque lyrics he chooses to employ detailing "When the acrobat fell of the beam/ She broke everyone's heart", but the band's sizeable meathead contingent can rest assured - it all builds up to a thumping classic rock climax which is more than appropriate to raise one's fist to whilst clinging on to a can of Stella in the other. Secondly, 'Potion Approaching.'A grungy riff dominates this song, which could be mistaken as an homage to Nirvana's 'Very Ape.' However, the lyrics speak volumes about the band, in particular Turner becoming disgruntled and wanting to "Be someone else for a week." Perhaps the strangest song on the album is 'Pretty Visitors', A schizophrenic brainchild of Turner's in song format. The opening bars which sound as if they belong to a cheesy 70s horror show give way to a furious burst of drums blasts reminiscent of Whatever People Say That I Am, That's What I'm Not: thick sludgy melody and Turner's breathless yelping. Halfway through, it mutates into stoner rock and a haunting choral ensemble vocal, before returning again to its previous urchin-rock roots. Alex also poses a new philosophical question for the age: "What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?" Two Humbug tracks stick out like a sore thumb. 'Cornerstone' is a sweet lament to elusive love that is blatantly Arctic Monkeys' next great pop single, clearly this was the work of James Ford rather than Josh Homme. 'Secret Door' is a cutesy yet untrustworthy tune produced by Ford and Homme together. For a band whose early work suggested one hit wonders, Arctic Monkeys - and Turner in particular - are showing themselves to be remarkably durable. So I want to be the first to personally say to the meathead contigent who branded the Monkeys new appearances and newest single 'Crying Lightning' "Too grungy." Shut the fuck up. Although maybe desperate to escape the comfortable surroundings they find themselves in, Humbug is an as yet career defining showcase of a band that have never sounded more comfortable in their own skin. And it fucking rocks. Rating: 10/10