album review
Alex Turner - Submarine
9
Label: Domino
Release Date: Friday, March 18, 2011
Writer: Adam Millard

Submarine is the feature film debut of Richard Ayoade (off of Garth Marenghi and the like) and, if we are to judge it from the trailers and artwork, it would seem that the director is re-inventing himself as some sort of British Wes Anderson. This EP of songs from said film also acts as Alex Turner's debut solo release, and is similarly acting as a change of pace. Largely acoustic, it's an antidote to the Arctic Monkey's bravado and The Last Shadow Puppets' retro pomp.
 
"Stuck On The Puzzle (intro)" gets things of to an intriguing start and despite its 54 seconds of length it whets the appetite quite nicely. First track proper is the hypnotically sleepy "Hiding Tonight", a simple song which oozes warmth from it's understated organ tones and a soothing electric guitar backing from ex-coral guitarist Bill Ryder Jones. "Glass In The Park", from the title alone, sounds like a typical early Arctic Monkeys track but here, Turner's lyrics are more reminiscent of Darren Hayman's recent work, gently romanticising to a backdrop of mundane everyday life. The final two tracks ("Stuck On The Puzzle" and "Piledriver Waltz") liven things up a bit with their full band sound, the latter is a particular gem with it's quasi-psychedelic string arrangement (courtesy of Final Fantasy's Owen Pallet) and finishes the EP on an exceptional high note.

Though the album doesn't really offer anything new in terms of British film soundtracks (many parts have a similar sort of tone to Badly Drawn Boy's Fattest Man In Britain soundtrack for example), it's nice to see another side to this blatantly talented individual and here Turner has produced a commanding, if all too short, collection of songs. Hopefully, with an equally promising director on-board the film will do these tracks some justice.