Review: The Last Shadow Puppets still anchored in ’60s, ’70s _lowres

Photo provided by Domino USA -- Alex Turner, of the Arctic Monkeys, returns to his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets, which just released 'Everything You've Come To Expect.'


Alex Turner and Miles Kane have let eight years go by since the debut of their Last Shadow Puppets project, but “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” reflects their devotion to late ’60s-early ’70s sounds, even as the lyrics and themes are decidedly of today.

Turner, of Arctic Monkeys fame, and bosom buddy Kane again rely on producer/drummer James Ford and skilled arranger Owen Pallett while adding Zach Dawes on bass and recording in Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios in California.

That makes sense considering they both live in Los Angeles now and seem to have adapted easily to the sensuous aspects of Hollywood life. This adds a kind of heaviness to the proceedings on several songs, though the agile string section often helps lighten the mood.

“Sweet Dreams, TN” is a Roy Orbison drama sung with Billy Idol’s snarl and vocabulary, while “Miracle Aligner” sounds like an R-rated episode of “The Persuaders” starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. “The Dream Synopsis” ends the album on Turner’s native Sheffield turf.

Other standouts include opener “Aviation” and its “gloomy conga of glum looking beauties” and “Bad Habits,” three minutes of Iggy Pop-like intensity propelled by a driving rhythm and sumptuous strings.

The years have left their mark. Turner and Kane are both 30 now, and The Last Shadow Puppets have moved from understatement to overindulgence, but the songs still pass quality control.