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Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

In my continuing mission to follow the every bowel movement of the Sheffield lads, I thought I'd post my thoughts on their brand new EP, Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys, to be released this Monday.

So, In a move that had the NME clasping, mid-orgasm, for the Kleenex, Arctic Monkeys took the bold move of turning their third single (The View From The Afternoon) into an EP, and treating us all to 4 brand new songs.

The concept is exciting and, as it turns out, we've got ourselves another two classics, wrapped in two perfectly serviceable b-side quality offerings. Here we have it, then:

  • 1. The View From The Afternoon - The third song to be released from the album Whatever People I Say I am, That's What I'm Not and certainly a surprise to me that this was released. It smacks of being musically undeveloped and is only saved by the odd moment of inspiration and Alex Turner's decent and entertaining lyrics.

    Select quote: "You can pour your heart out around 3 o clock; When the 2 for 1s' undone the writers block".

  • 2. Cigarette Smoker Fiona - Considering this EP was heralded as featuring brand new songs, I was a tad disappointing to see that a re-worked demo had made it on. Never the less, the song has had a significant re-working since its demo days as Cigarette Smoke, along with a complete change in lyrics. It's also home to some of Matt Helder's best drumming, which is jolly nice.

    Select quote: "Select quote: "Sat at the side of the pool at one of your houses; With wet white trousers on; And worlds collide as the evening continues; The dignity fucks off".

  • 3. Despair in the Departure Lounge - I'm really, really not keen on this track at all. It features just Alex Turner and his guitar played in an acoustic style. In principal I should welcome songs that try to do something different to AM's norm, but this offers nothing musically, nor lyrically, interesting and really fails to successfully show how the band can diversify.

    Select quote: "There might be tellys in the back of the seats in front; But Rodney and Del won't do; Although it might take your mind off the aches and the pains; Laugh when he falls through the bar; But you're feeling the same ".

  • 4. No Buses - In stark contrast to Departure Lounge, No Buses really managed to do some interesting, different and, above all, flipping excellent. Above all, it features one of the most gentle but wonderful crescendos you're ever likely to hear. Sublime.

    Select quote: "Lady, where has your love gone?; I was looking but can't find it anywhere; They always offer when there's loads of love around; But, when you're short of some, it's nowhere to be found".

  • 5. Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? - Arctic Monkeys going ska? Yes please! This is without doubt the stand-out track of the whole EP. You could argue that writing such a self referential song so early in their careers is unforgivably wanky, but given all the hype they've been exposed to I think it's good they're addressing the issue. As mentioned before the musical style starts off firmly in the ska camp, before breaking down into a dirty and grungy ending as Alex Turner bellows "It's not you it's them, that are wrong, tell 'em to take out their tongues, AND BRING ON THE BACKLASH". Marvelous, really.

    Select quote: "Don't care if it's marketing suicidal; Won't crack or compromise; Your derisory divides; Will never unhinge us".

So, there we have it. As a whole it doesn't really stand up against the album, but it's excellent that they're willing to release pretty experimental stuff in the knowledge that it will most certainly not be as widely loved as their album. It's certainly a nice breath of fresh air, but two truly great songs in the company of 3 mediocre ones isn't exactly in keeping with their previously high standards. So, that'll be one star for each great song, along with another star for the rest combined.

3 Stars

About this entry


They say 'bring on the backlash', which is fine until you realise the fact that they're talking about the backlash themselves is about as far up their own arse as they could go. Although it's only a b-side. The VFTA isn't the single I would have chosen, even though it's a good song. Although why should they care, they don't really need the promotion of a single. The best songs on the album are Still Take You Home, Scummy Man (aka When The Sun Goes Down) and maybe Mardy Bum.

By performingmonkey
April 23, 2006 @ 4:02 am

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I don't think talking about a backlash is up their own arse. They're only being honest and realistic. They've been elevated to such ridiculous levels that it's *bound* to happen sooner or later. All they're saying is that they willcarry on doing what they've always done - regardless of what's going on around them.

By Cappsy
April 23, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

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Bought it this morning, but haven't listened to it yet. I shall return later with my thoughts.

By si
April 24, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

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Right, listened to it a few times now. I actually quite like Despair in the Departure Lounge, and No Buses too. I liked Cigarette Smoke before, and the new version (ie with the 'r Fiona') is pretty spiffy too.
All in all, a nice litle EP.

By si
April 26, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

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Not a fan of the title track?

By Cappsy
April 26, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

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>Not a fan of the title track?

On the contrary - I can often be heard sauntering down the stairs singing "'oo the fuck's Arctic Monkeys?" in my own strong Sheffield accent.

By si
May 01, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

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