I remember first hearing the band as a teenager at a small house party in my suburban town. After announcing my affection for We Are Scientists, a wise friend insisted I listen to the Arctic Monkeys. While imagining pink-faced snow monkeys relaxing in a hot spring and watching my long-haired friends kick and bob to the beat, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” was becoming an indie dance hit around the world. The Arctic Monkeys is one of those bands marvelously blessed with perfect timing. Even before releasing their first album in 2006, the English rock band was becoming one of the first bands to gain massive interest online via MySpace and other fan based music sites, and helped change the way music is now marketed. If that’s not enough for perfect timing, examine the band’s sound evolution. Their first album is what I like to call “neo-punk meets poetics”; impressive musical mechanics and grungy romantic lyrics reflecting a relatable suburban lifestyle is best heard with the volume LOUD in songs like “Riot Van” and “From The Ritz To The Rubble.” Alex Turner’s voice is unmistakably British, youthful and blunt in tone, complementing intelligent lyrics in a way that conjured in my mind the image of an older Holden Caulfield following his Catcher in the Rye breakdown: darker, no longer a virgin and no less of a smart ass.
Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. Photo Credit: B.Riordan, CC BY 2.0
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