With Last Shadow Puppets returning, we rank his side-project work
Andrew Trendell, Alex Pollard

09:25 12th October 2015

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The news that The Last Shadow Puppets are recording their long-awaited second album has got all of us incredibly excited. Naturally, we love Arctic Monkeys to their bones - but it's Turner's work away from the band that has rendered him as a brilliant artist in his own right. 

Yes, we also long for the Monkeys' sixth album - but we don't mind waiting if it means another Last Shadow Puppets LP. 

From going solo to his work with Miles Kane, along with his special guest appearances with Queens Of The Stone Age, Mini Mansions and more, these are Turner's absolute best tracks recorded away from the band. 

  • 14. 'Get Right': Turner contributes bass guitar rather than vocals to this one, but he also co-wrote it. Its riff sounds like a scuzzy rock version of Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up', and it was recorded over just two days. It's nowhere near as good as the A-side 'Don't Forget Who You Are' though.

  • 13. 'Calm Like You': There's a reason why Alex Turner's songs rarely reach four minutes - he prefers to get the point across and get out while you're still scratching your head. This one ends just as you feel it's reaching some sort of epiphany.

  • 12. 'My Mistakes Were Made For You': Proof if ever it were needed that Alex Turner would write a truly killer Bond theme.

  • 11. 'Glass in the park': It's a far cry from most of his Arctic Monkeys material, but 'Glass in the park' demonstrates the subtle comedy and awkward romance of Turner's lyrics as well as any of his band's work.

  • 10. 'Standing Next To Me': The best example of ornate harmony on the Last Shadow Puppets album. Add that to the orchestral strings that appear towards the end and there's something of the '60s pop theatricality about 'Standing Next To Me'.

  • 9. 'Separate and Ever Dead': The lyrics are spat out with such anguish and frustration that the tune almost gives way to spoken words. The emphasis on the 'Ts' of the line "Won't let go" is slightly jarring, but it's a driven and biting 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

  • 8. 'It's hard to get around the wind': None of Turner's Submarine songs are conventionally capitalised. In fact, it feels as though they lack the confidence to do so - which is perfectly and sensitively fitting for the film's 15-year-old protagonist Oliver Tate.

  • 7. 'Temptation': Alex Turner and Dizzee Rascal collaborated on two variations of the same song. One, 'Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend', featured on Arctic Monkeys' 'Brianstorm', but this one, on Rascal's own album, packs more of a punch.

  • 6. 'The Machine': Reverend and the Makers might have struggled to survive the cull of noughties indie-rock bands that occured at the start of the '10s, but their Alex Turner collaboration 'The Machine' is still a massive tune. With its thumping, electronica instrumentals supporting Turner's bursting refrain, "Don't forget you can get off the conveyor", it's an underrated gem.

  • 5. 'Hiding Tonight': The most languid and unassuming of Turner's brilliant Submarine soundtrack. It's a tale of introspection and shyness, and its lyrics, "Tomorrow I'll be quicker / I'll stare into the strobe light flicker /And afloat I'll stay... But I'm quite alright hiding today", are quietly heartbreaking.

  • 4. 'The Age Of The Understatement': There's a strange mixture of surf rock and marching drums lurking underneath Alex Turner and Miles Kane's harmonised vocals. It's almost overwhelming powerful - listening to it feels as if you're being led into a strange battle - and that is absolutely meant as a compliment.

  • 3. 'If I Had A Tail': Turner's guest appearance on Queens Of The Stone Age's ...Like Clockwork album has licks of the funk element that subsequently encompassed Arctic Monkeys' AM. Following this song in fact, Josh Homme worked with the band on AM in a case of "one of us returning a back scratch to the other."

  • 2. 'Vertigo': : "I always thought it as some kind of character out of a guy Ritchie movie, that's how I always saw that voice coming in..."Mini Mansions' Mikey Shuman told Gigwise of why they enlisted Turner for this true gem of 2015. "Alex has more of like a sexy, swagger that what we were initially going for, which turned out better than anything we could have imagined, really."

  • 1. 'Piledriver Waltz': Despite having a chorus that barely leaves one note, there's still enough melody present to add weight to the beautiful mundanity of the lyrics. "You look like you've been for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel / And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature... on how to lose." There's a sense of casual profundity that makes this song brilliant.

Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.

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Photo: Thanira Rates