Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not (LP)
Maybe youʼre about to read this and find out about a band called Arctic Monkeys. Or maybe you already know more about them than a thousand words could ever convey. Maybe you downloaded their songs months before record companies cared and maybe you were grabbed by the sudden urge to drive for half a day just to see them play. Maybe you were one of the kids whoʼs taken up surfing across Monkeysʼ crowds as a full-time hobby. And maybe youʼve also ended up with a permanent monitor-related injury because of it.
Because unless your definition of success rests on how many private yachts you can afford, Arctic Monkeys were already massive way before they inked a deal with Domino in June 2005. People obsessing over the songs? Sold-out gigs full of stagediving nutcases? Hardcore fans pressed up against venue windows, just hoping to catch a glimpse? Such checkpoints have all been ticked.
So, here we are, standing at the precipice of something possibly really big, but it all almost doesnʼt matter because the album is so damn good. The reference points are wide and varied. Musically, thereʼs musical bits of The Stone Roses, Whatʼs The Story Morning Glory and Nevermind. As catchy as those reference points are, itʼs the lyrics that have won them this fiercely dedicated crowd very quickly: a mix of the observational storytelling of Davies and Weller crossed with the harsher documentary eye of Mike Skinner of The Streets and “Ghost Town” era Specials. Forget the hype, forget the lofty expectations and just enjoy the thing.