Two and a half years after the release of their second album Favourite Worst Nightmare, Arctic Monkeys are back.
The first single from upcoming third album Humbug was released on download this week, giving fans the first chance to hear what producer Josh Homme has done to their sound.
Just as Favourite Worst Nightmare was a totally different sound to their debut, Crying Lightning hints at another intriguing new direction. The single has Homme's influence all over it - a doomy bassline, some brilliant guitar licks that could have been lifted from a Tarantino film, and a huge, pounding chorus that manages to sound both sinister and uplifting at the same time.
It swoops and swirls around menacingly, while Alex Turner unravels a strange tale of flirting with a mystery woman over a bag of sweets ("my thoughts got rude, as you talked and chewed, on the last of your pick and mix"). His vocals sound a million miles away from the raw Sheffield accent of their debut - there's almost a croon to his voice now, perhaps a leftover from his side project The Last Shadow Puppets.
It even finds time to drop magnificently into a coda of hammering drums, before that chorus bursts in again and nearly rips your speakers off. It may take a couple of listens to work its magic, but once it has, this will be your new song of the summer. If this is even a hint of the quality of the upcoming album Humbug, then Arctic Monkeys fans could be in for a treat.
Crying Lightning is released on CD on August 17th, and is available for download now on iTunes.