ARCTIC MONKEYS – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Is there anybody out there who does not know the Arctic Monkeys story. Northern indie band uses the internet to spread the word and put their songs on there for the fans to download, meaning that them (and me) had lived with half of these tracks for months before they came out. I already knew that the band had something, but the album versions of the songs I knew are so much more powerful that they sound like the work of a different band. Opener ‘The View From The Afternoon’ sets the scene for sort of concept album about a day in life of a Yorkshire lad – going down the pub, on to the disco, copping off with a girl, running into the coppers, and stumbling home in the small hours. Chart topper ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ still sounds great, while older tracks ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ and ‘Dancing Shoes’ are given a new lease of life. Their proverbial Northern sense of humour shows in song titles like ‘You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me’, and ‘Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured’. Slower tracks like ‘Riot Van’ and ‘Mardy Bum’ are some of my favourites, with the latter having a definite C86 feel to the guitarwork, and both of them boasting memorable melodies. ‘Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..’ has a mid-song freakout which really rocks, and could point to a new direction for the band, while ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ (otherwise known as ‘Scummy’ to us downloaders) is a great song – when the guitars kick in after the vocal intro it hits you every time. ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’ and ‘A Certain Romance’ close the album in fine style, rounding off a release which does not disappoint in any way, despite the ridiculously high expectations which preceded it.