So there is this band from Sheffield that has a ridiculous name – The Arctic Monkeys;
The band is only a few years old and they are already have been put on a pedestal by the British music press as the best of the best;
The band has been named the best even though they have only released 2 albums and 1 EP;
The band members’ age ranges from 20 to 21. What could they possibly know about life?
However, when I first listened to the song “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor”, the song just blew me away. The song is a “good ole” rock and roll song but within it was the interplay of the lyrics, the melody and the thrashing guitars which came out of nowhere in the chorus. And it didn’t end there. The rest of their songs on “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not” are mind blowing to say the least. It’s no wonder that the British press loves this album. The songs are full of fun and infectious melodies and loud guitars.
But another reason to really like the band is their seemingly complete disregard for the rule book of the music industry. They simply don’t care about the music executives (although I am not sure what they are going to do now, since they are a huge commodity). They built their base from the ground up. I read somewhere that the pattern they followed (totally unintentional, I am sure) is probably the new way of marketing a band. They allowed fans to swap their music, they never invited any music big wigs to their promotional gigs only fans were invited, they did not sign to any label (Indie or mainstream) although they finally signed to a label which is run from an apartment! and they do not like music critics at all. I mean which band do you know out there that comes out with a sophomoric effort (an EP) titled “Who The F*uck Are The Arctic Monkeys”. That’s just a finger to the music industry. And you have to love the band for just that point.
So, they just got lucky with their first album. It was a big hit in England and Australia to the point where they set the record for the fastest selling album in history of music in England. Their singles have constantly been at the top 5 across the world (except US). So they will probably fail like The Strokes and The Libertines with their second album. Well, not true. Their
second album “Favourite Worst Nightmare” is even better!! The first song Brainstorm starts with a bang and never lets up. The drumming, the guitar and the bass just pound and pound to an almost distorted sound (although they never distort their music) and then come the melodies. Their music is just an mix of different styles and that’s one of the things I really like about The Monkeys. It’s like they have taken a part Sex Pistols, a part of The Clash, a part of Ramones and a part of Oasis and churned it all together to create this music. My favourite song from this album is “Fluorescent Adolescent” a song about musing of an older woman, over extravagance youth and the lyrics are, surprisingly for 20 year olds, really intelligent.
Their on stage performances have come under fire, though. This is because they just stand or, at the most swing, in one position and belt out their numbers. I was mildly surprised by this as their songs seemed like the band would be really swinging it on stage. So I went over to YouTube to have a look at them myself. And…..it’s true. They just stand and sing. However, the difference is that the way they sing is really infectious. If I could be so taken by a recorded performance, imagine how the audience at the show would feel. I saw in one of their performances where the audience is literally walking around the stage and dancing with the boys just singing like it’s all a part of the show!! I think that maybe one of their charms. A band that has a lot of interaction with the audience is always appreciated.
Anyway, I will be keeping an eye on this band. I just hope they have a bright future ahead of them. You never know, they may be the next White Stripes.