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Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys EP by Arctic Monkeys

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Reviewed on 24th April 2006.


Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys EP

By Arctic Monkeys

How many million sales exactly? It beggars belief, it really does. Sorry to break yer suit jacket and jeans-wearing hearts kids, but it's time someone said the truth about this - the Arctic Monkeys are simply Not Very Good.

There's plenty of cheap slings and arrows I could use this review to throw at this band - the fact that they look like a cross between the Baja Beach Club In-House Indie Band and Level 42 for a start - but this being a music review, I'll stick to criticising the music. I'll admit this from the start, I've never seen what the hype about this lot was right from day one - they've always seemed to me like a poor man's Kaiser Chiefs, combining the witless approach to songwriting of the Libertines with botched sub-Mike Skinner lyricisms and avoiding the concept of half-memorable tunes like the plague. And this new EP backs things up - it's anodyne, dull, unambitious - basically everything that great music is not.

Let's take opening track "The View From The Afternoon" shall we? Over a sub-Babyshambles calamity of crap production and a tune which sounds as if no-one's introduced this band to the concept of timekeeping, lead singer Alex Turner sings in that slightly irritating mewl also beloved of messrs Doherty and Barat about how he's got nothing better to than but sit in the pub all afternoon watching people getting drunk. Later in the EP, he will turn his three-note vocal range whinging to such subjects as cigarette-smoking chavs, bus stations and (oh jeez) how much he hates being famous on the title track. Awww diddums Alex, tell ya what, if you hate it that much, I know a bloke down MY local who'll happily take your place touring the country playing music and scoring as many drugs and groupies as humanly possible and you can take his job working at the supermarket packing plant here. Interested? Thought not somehow.

In Alex Turner's mind, he's a cross between Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker, in reality he possesses about a zot of the songwriting skill and insight of either. What he's crucially overlooked is that great rock 'n' roll isn't just a mirror to wallow in your own misery, it's about transcending your everyday hardships and creating something special, either through the route of escapism (someone please buy this band a copy of "Ziggy Stardust" before it's too late) or, as Jarv did on "Common People" and Mozzer did on "Every Day Is Like Sunday", turning it into something truly affecting to capture people's hearts and minds. Arctic Monkeys do neither. This band aren't visionaries, they're the most inept breed of musical cutpurses, pilfering from several half-decent shades of music and, clearly not knowing what to do with their ill-gotten gains, wringing every single drop of colour out of them until all that's left is a dull grey husk.

Sadly the Arctic Monkeys appear to be a product of these less than inspiring times that we live in where ambition and eloquence are frowned upon in favour of this horrible "anti-star" ethos and the limit of most of the NME-indebted indie fraternity's ambition is to make themselves just as dull, grey and anonymous as the next person. How the hell else would a group called the Ordinary Boys become a Top 5 tabloid sensation? (look, just don't get me started on them okay?) It's been a long spiral downwards, from Oasis to the Libertines to the Ordinary Boys to Babyshambles and finally this. I'm just hoping that the Arctic Monkeys represent the very bottom of this particular barrel being scraped and that soon something will come along to inject a bit of ambition and, more crucially, fun and excitement back into guitar music so we can nuke the careers of these stuck-up dullards. But until then folks, I'm afraid we must suffer. More bloody fool us.



All replies to this article. Log in to post a reply.

On 24th April 2006 at 20:14 Anonymous 5641 wrote...

I'll admit I aren't the biggest Arctic Monkeys fan in the world, but this review is a bit harsh.
Can't find any respect for reviewers who mindlessly slag bands work.

Love them or hate them. They are obviously doing something right and ARE speaking in a language certain sections of the youth of today can understand.

Good look to the little Monkey's I say.


On 24th April 2006 at 20:58 Dave LMS wrote...

I don't think this is their best to date, but as a collection of five or so songs it's ok to me. I've had it on my MP3 Player for a few days now. Nothing astounding to be fair, but far better than average.


On 24th April 2006 at 21:42 Anonymous 13 wrote...

Three note range? Are you sure?


On 24th April 2006 at 22:03 Anonymous 3946 wrote...

Okay I'll admit it - I'm not exactly the world's biggest Arctic Monkeys fan so perhaps this inevitably wasn't gonna get a very good score off me.

However...I think it's possibly about time that someone said something about this band which ISN'T simply the sort of ridiculous hype along the lines of "this band are the best thing since sliced bread and if you disagree then you quite clearly do not get it" crap that's been coming from places like the NME about them. Obviously they do appeal to some people, they wouldn't have sold as many records otherwise, but I'm sorry, I just don't see exactly what it is they've got going for them - they definitely aren't doing anything new or that's not been done better before.

Rest assured that I did listen to this with an open mind and if it had been great I would have (admittedly begrudgingly) said so but to me at least it certainly doesn't answer any questions I've got about how such an unremarkable band has made it so big. Answers on the back of a postcard...?


On 25th April 2006 at 09:31 Anonymous 5642 wrote...

There is no need to be so harsh!

I am a fan of the monkeys and its a matter of taste but don't knock the lads for doing something they enjoy and believe in.

You make reference to oasis, yes they are an amazing band and legends, but times change and music changes. This is the new music scene. There are more up and coming bands that started out like the monkeys and have the same style. So quit the pathetic "scraping the barrel" comments and have an open mind.


On 25th April 2006 at 10:51 Anonymous 1205 wrote...

I aint gonna have a pop cause its each to there own but seriously am puzzled that you think the monkeys are "scraping the barrel" in musical terms!!! I could throw 1 gazzilion bands at you that are doing this but the monkeys are definately not. I dont think they are the future of music or the new rock saviours as our tatty music mag would have us believe. I do think though that they have a firm place at the heart of things at the moment and have sparked up a passion in some youngsters who otherwise might have been to busy playing Xbox to bother considering picking up a guitar. I think the future of music will be spawned from bands like the monkeys who excite and awaken musical passion in the young ens!

Also as much as you like to think to the contray you cleary say in your comments that you felt it was about time someone "spoke up" and said something negative!!! So never in a million years would you have given this Cd a thumbs up.

A) Not a fan of band whose music sounds pretty similar, so new CD was never going to break a mould
B) pissed off with the constant fawning over the band,
C) Cd through postbox.
A+B+C = Very bad review !!!! Dont hide it man, you used this review to get of your chest what has been building up for some time!!

Anyhow whatever eh. My two penneth is it makes the kids dance, That can never be a bad thing.


On 25th April 2006 at 12:38 Anonymous 5643 wrote...

Couldn't give a flying kitten for Atlantic Chimps but the review was clearly written as a grudge against them. Do you know them? Did they tresspass on your patio? Did they touch your garden fence?

Just an example of someone trying sooo hard to be different. Go and put your Knife CD back on.

Actually 'Pass it On' and 'Is It Medicine' are quality tracks! I love The Knife!

I agree with everything you say.


On 25th April 2006 at 17:43 Anonymous 5647 wrote...

Classic! The reviewer seems to think he's the only one who can say anything against the band, but have a look on google and there are loads of amateur journos who obviously also have micro who are practically salivating as they get their one chance to be read by more than 10 people because 'someone has to say it'. This review has absolutely no merit whatsoever - and not because the writer doesn't like the EP. No, if the review had been written by a total Monkeys fan boy and went into raptures about ever last riff and lyrical nuance, we'd have learnt exactly the same as we have from this review - as Alex Turner would probably say 'Fuck All!'

Grwo up, Andy, and get a proper (i.e. one that doesn't require any creativity to do it well) job - you know it makes sense.


On 25th April 2006 at 17:52 Anonymous 5647 wrote...

BTW, I missed the word penises out of the post above (should have been after micro). I've just had a look at your other reviews, AJ, and if I'm not mistaken you have had more responses to this review than all the other reviews (plenty of them as weel) added together. You must feel all of a sudden pretty important. Dont.

And you scored the Darkness album 5/10 but this EP 3/10???? Does Rampton know you've escaped yet?


On 25th April 2006 at 18:08 Anonymous 3946 wrote...

Well for a review that you supposedly find "laughable", it's obviously touched a pretty damn raw nerve with you, ain't it Classics?


On 25th April 2006 at 21:52 Anonymous 5647 wrote...


'Laughable'? Please show me where I said it was 'laughable'? I would have been more inclined to think sad. I'll give you a tip. Click on Edit at the top of your browser, scroll down to Find (on this page) and enter the word 'laughable', then click Find Next. Voila! The word LAUGHABLE has been used once on this page. Have a guess by who?

You appear to be trying to demonstrate a Derren Brown-type gift for reading people's minds, Andy, but without the Channel 4 show and sold out tour to back it up. Not forgetting the ability.

Apparently, you also 'know' that 'in Alex Turner's mind he sees himself as a cross between Jarvis Cocker and Morrissey'. Does he? You aksed him his thoughts at any stage?

Don't give up the day job, mate (if you actually have one). Alex Petridis you aint.


On 25th April 2006 at 22:23 Anonymous 5648 wrote...

Is this article just having a go at Arctic Monkeys? I'm sorry for making this personal, but there don't seem to be many solid facts in this "review;" it is mostly made up of hot air and slagging off of a class band. Unfortunately for him, the author of this review is not Alex Turner and therefore, does not know what Al is thinking. To be honest, this review doesn't really discuss the new EP, does it? It's mostly just slagging AM off.

Very professional.

In addition- AM are not "stuck-up dullards" as it is so eloquently put. They are in fact lovely lads. But, that isn't really what I should be going on about, is it? As this is an EP review and not a band review.


On 26th April 2006 at 17:53 Anonymous 5646 wrote...

It's a moot point about what is a review cos every hack wants to be Lester Bangs or Nick Kent or whatever but 99.9% of these aspirants lack insight and/or coherence. It's worthy to get angry and kill your idols (old and new) but the Arctic Monkeys will prevail cos they are the closest thing we have to a rock n roll band on this sceptred isle. They're not the cheeky chappy careerists who are a penny a plethora (see Kaiser Chiefs) that don't take any risks or create any art. I believe they are real cos they don't play the game, they DON'T have a stylist (see Kaiser Chiefs) and some of their tunes do hit the heart aswell as the guts. It's good to talk so the review ain't that bad but save your pea gun of ire for the carboard cut outs you can knock down. I say this because I love you and I hope you feel it.


On 27th April 2006 at 07:40 Anonymous 3946 wrote...

My last words here - I don't agree with everything that's been posted but I accept the viewpoints. Like I said earlier, AM obviously do appeal to an awful lot of people, I just can't quite see why myself.

Word of advice to Classics though mate - really, just let it go feller, once you accept that not everyone shares your taste in music I guarantee you'll feel one hell of a weight lift off your shoulders mate. If this review really is bothering you so much (and despite your protestations, the fact that you've gone scouring through everything I've written here to find stuff to use against me suggests to me that it is) then there's plenty of places you can go to read people saying nice things about Alex Turner. And if my writing style annoys you so much, why not try sending some articles in here yourself mate? LMS are always looking for new people to contribute and I'm sure they'd be happy to hear from you. Later people.


On 27th April 2006 at 22:05 Anonymous 5619 wrote...

Very rare such an overtly negative review will be greeted with open arms but some of the comments on this article (especially you 'Classics') are totally out of order.

Quite obviously Andy did not go into this review with an open mind but it's still an honest interpretation of what he thought of the EP (and band, who believe it or not you have to mention when reviewing them!)

Granted, he's vastly in the minority but hey ho...


On 29th April 2006 at 14:24 Anonymous 13 wrote...

For an intereting alternative review by somoene who has been around music writing for 20+ years and who knows his stuff try Tim Peaccok's effort at www.whisperinandhollerin.com/reviews/review.asp?id=3712


On 4th May 2006 at 22:48 Anonymous 5666 wrote...

'Bring on the backlash!'

This review screams 'I want to be noticed' - and comes across as an extremely amateur attempt at a review.

'Well for a review that you supposedly find "laughable", it's obviously touched a pretty damn raw nerve with you, ain't it Classics?' - andyjames, 25th April

......and this comment only re-iterated the fact. I'm guessing from that comment that you are probably a teenager, so I don't want to be too harsh on you.

The reviewer specifically wanted to ruffle a couple of feathers, and knew this would be an easy score. The problem is, in the process of writing a ridiculously overly-critical review, which mostly slags off the band rather than review the ep, his comments have no credibility.

But I'm guessing that with well thought out, insightful, objective gems like 'but it's time someone said the truth about this - the Arctic Monkeys are simply Not Very Good' - most people will take this review for what it's worth.....nowt.


On 5th May 2006 at 08:37 Anonymous 3028 wrote...

Maybe someone else should redo the review for LMS?

And not some cock jockey trying to be funny this time. Someone who will enlighten me whether the EP is worth buying.


On 5th May 2006 at 17:09 Dave LMS wrote...

"Someone who will enlighten me whether the EP is worth buying" - Andy, I don't think you should base your purchasing decisions on any one person's review (from anywhere). Have a read around, have a listen (it's been played to death and available for streaming) and make your mind up on music - I would never recommend someone bases a decision on recommendations (or rants) from the likes of NME, etc (and I include LMS in the etc).


On 7th May 2006 at 05:14 Anonymous 5672 wrote...

Wow a review i agree with! As to those who have replied to the review i find your comments mostly based on what AJ has quite clearly stated is his opinion. If you have a different opinion deal with it. We are all our own person and see things differently but i have to agree, this EP is uninspired and unoriginal.

While i will be slightly defeating my own arguement about everyone being entitled to there own opinion, i feel i must say to Sam Saunders the review by Tim Peacock is poor. I don't understand his apreciation of lyrics like "They're all looking quite forlorn in bunny ears and devil horns" is not a beautifully observed snapshot of a night out but a visual image that even the drunkest of us remember from a night out. As for "Cigarette Smoker Fiona" being another gnarly and gritty commentary. I ask is he even aware of what he is writing.

In truth I think we all know that no matter how true these comments might be, we all know the masses will still follow and love what the mainstream is pushing at the moment and to you all i say but one thing. Baa


On 9th May 2006 at 15:18 Anonymous 5643 wrote...

I haven't bought it. I'm too busy waiting for the new Conway Sisters album.

Go pop Queens!

Is it actually and good then squabble fans?



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