Friday, 10 June 2011

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

So here we  have the debut album by the dynamic Garage Rock/Post-Punk 'Revival'band from Sheffield. Straight away you notice this album is incredibly loud, you can tell Alex Turner is putting in so much effort with this release. I can understand this album, it's in a very basic, but progressive in style, the distorted guitars and build ups lead to great, catchy songs. The lyrics and vocal work are original to say the least. 

The album starts off strong with a thunderous, drum pounding track which has fantastic dynamics and great bass work. A View From The Afternoon Is a great introduction to Arctic Monkeys as a band. The lyrics flow, which is a common theme. Guitar work is strong, which again.. is a common theme on this album.
Following the energetic opener, the second track doesn't disappoint. Possibly the most known Arctic Monkeys song, I Bet You Look Good On The Dance floor is a chart topping, riff filled Garage song with great rawness and lyrical power. It brought the band to a wider audience and elevated them above similar bands at the time due to a better quality of lyrics and sound. The production is well polished and the basic instrumentation is all that's needed to create such a dirty Indie anthem for the noughties.

Fake Tales of San Francisco has always stood out to me as being one of the more lyrical based tracks. One of the lyrics being 'You're not from New York, you're from Rotherham' which always gets me. I love the drum work here, not to mention the quirky riff which is incredibly cheesy, yet pleasing to hear in a song about a wedding.

When The Sun Goes Down, is such a fucking killer of a track. The song has a story, that separates it from some of the other tracks from the album. It's a well sang story, the instrumentation is perfect for the lyrical style and it comes across with great effect. The introduction is very sweet and sad, then the distortion and circular sounding bass kick in. Although only a three minute song, it has by far the most imagery on the album. Every name drop and feeling is clearly heard by Turners energetic and powerful vocal.

A Certain Romance, my favourite track from the debut, closes the album. Loud riff's turned into sweet melodic dynamics. Superb musicianship is heard by each member of the band. You cant knock the production, the guitars are placed well, they're heavily layered with distortion, but feature very little reverb. The guitars just shimmer along with each other, simple note playing and tiny riffs really create such a terrific atmosphere. From this Alex can deliver a well written vocal, which tops the album off rather well I'd say. This song wouldn't be track 1 or 2.. It has to be the finale, the climax, it's just that, the climax.

Combined, these songs are very danceable. The Punk aspects are here, it's not very rebellious but it has more of a Indie sound than dirty raw Garage Rock. Short snappy songs set the standard here. Songs are in your face, others, are straight forward Libertines-esque Indie anthems, such as Mardy Bum. it's the bands best album to date and i cant see them topping this anytime soon. So if you're new to Arctic Monkeys (yeah.. right.) buy/download/steal this album.


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