Home Read Classic Album Review: Arab Strap | Monday At The Hug & Pint

Classic Album Review: Arab Strap | Monday At The Hug & Pint

The Scottish duo’s surprising sixth album is their most upbeat and varied release.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


When Adian Moffat mumblingly confesses, “You know I’m always moanin’ ” right off the hop on Arab Strap’s sixth album, it’s hard not to nod in agreement.

For a half-dozen years, Moffat and musical partner Malcolm Middleton have turned mopery into a veritable cottage industry, filling disc after disc with the latter’s stark quicksand ballads and the former’s drunken midnight confessions of romantic obsession, sexual dysfunction and sour defeat. But just when you think you’re in for another round of the same, the second half of that opening couplet — “You jumpstart my serotonin” — hints at the changes afoot on Monday At The Hug & Pint. That is, if the spry little backbeat behind his lyrics hasn’t already. Musically, this is Arab Strap’s most upbeat and varied release, with strummy guitars, thumping drums, almost dancable backbeats and even entire minutes of — holy cow! — actual bona fide rock. Granted, it’s a long way from giddy. Tunes like Meanwhile, At The Bar, A Drunkard Muses, F—ing Little Bastards and The Week Never Starts Round Here still wallow in an emotional wasteland of crumpled notes and hungover heartache. But at least you can occasionally tap your foot to it.


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