Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

[Domino; 2006]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: dance-punk, British post punk
Others: Bloc Party, Gang of Four, Futureheads, The Strokes

Arctic Monkeys are quite a sensation. If you haven't heard of 'em, you soon will. Much like the Strokes phenomenon, their hype wagon has kicked the shit out of the U.K. and is beginning to over on this side of the pond as well. Labels like "biggest band since the Beatles" have been thrown around with jaw-dropping laissez-faire. Pretty strange when you consider that the Monkeys don't bring anything new to the table. A sort of heavy-handed mix of all of England's current "it" bands — the Libertines, Bloc Party, and the Futureheads - the Monkeys aren't as interesting as any of these, but they do manage to distill some of each's most fist-pumping moments into their own heavy-browed mix.

Bloc Party sing about politics, sort of, and the Futureheads sling insults at those too dumb to dig 'em. Arctic Monkeys sing about girls and drinking and being famous. They're just a bunch of (remarkably young) blokes out to have a good time, so what's the harm? Unfortunately, the problem is that this is a band whose claim to fame lies in apparently perfect use of "word of mouth" which has propelled these astoundingly average dudes into the limelight. There are some catchy, upbeat songs here, sure, but there are enough ham-handed choruses here to bludgeon a horse. The snotty unlikeability of the Artic Monkeys, from their featherweight lyrics to their awful band name, render their decent songs ("I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," "A Certain Romance," "When the Sun Goes Down") guilty pleasures and their bad songs, of which there are plenty ("Still Take You Home," "Dancing Shoes," "Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong But..." among the worst offenders) are just awful. This is the new big British band? This is barely inspired enough to make it off campus. But it's all in good fun, right?

PS: "ARCTIC MONKEYS"????????????

1. View From the Afternoon
2. I Bet You Look Good on a Dancefloor
3. Fake Tales of San Francisco
4. Dancing Shoes
5. You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights...
6. Still Take You Home
7. Riot Van
8. Red Light Indicates Doors are Secured
9. Mardy Bum
10. Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong But..

11. When the Sun Goes Down
12. From the Ritz to the Rubble
13. A Certain Romance