When Arctic Monkeys kick off their U.S. tour with the Black Keys later this week, they’ll arrive with a new, non-album single that’s perfect for the occasion. As Listen Before You Buy points out, the British rockers posted a video for previously unreleased song “R U Mine?” last night, and it’s available now on iTunes. Video and music alike are gritty, funky, and generally poised to remind stateside listeners that Arctic Monkeys are no mere British oddities: They’re rock stars.
Last month, Arctic Monkeys performed an intriguing cover of Katy B’s dubsteb-popper “Katy on a Mission,” successful making the case that Alex Turner and the boys still have the potential to be huge — it’s the U.S. pop charts that got small. “R U Mine?” makes good on that promise, with filthily distorted funk riffs that should make for a fine double-billing with Akron, Ohio’s finest rock’n’roll duo. The rough-hewn production might be thoroughly old-school, but there isn’t necessarily anything traditionalist or rockist about the song’s appeal. With massive drums, thunderous guitar, badass falsetto backing vocals, and slippery can’t-get-no-satisfaction, will-you-still-love-me-tomorrow declamations from Turner himself, this one would sound at home in any middle-American bar. “R U Mine?” lives up to its text-speak title.
The video, too, is down and dirty in a contemporary way. The clip moves from shaky footage of Turner and Diddy-beloved drummer Matt Helders rocking out in the front of a van to a full-blown nighttime performance, as we meet a pair of bizarrely masked and cowboy-hatted women (“She’s a lone ranger,” Turner sneers) along the way. The band’s recent videos have tended to follow Helders in character as some kind of biker outlaw; this one maintains the focus on Arctic Monkeys’ not-so-secret weapon — and the enigmatic allure — while upping the “Lonely Boy”-style viral potential still further, looking almost like it could’ve been made on your camera phone, if you were awesome and had a rock’n’roll budget. Arctic Monkeys have invaded.