Indecent Digit: FAMILY FUN TIME: Frozen Primates!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

FAMILY FUN TIME: Frozen Primates!

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Try and imagine a world where a new release from an indie label in the United States (say Sub Pop) shattered all imaginable first week sales records, moving millions of copies. Hell, imagine a world where such a release could sell 300,000 out of the gate. It's a little hard to fathom, isn't it? Well, if you live in the UK, you're in the midst of such a musical miracle as I type this. Four young men from Sheffield, England have managed exactly this with their debut full length album for Domino Records. Collectively known as Arctic Monkeys, they have taken their homeland by storm with flurry of very well received advance singles and sold out live shows. Managing to move over 200,000 copies of their album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not , in only a couple of days, they have propelled themselves past even such Brit-Pop stalwarts as Oasis into the musical record books. As with anything this widely accepted and furiously hyped, you may ask if the album deserves all this attention. Abso-f'ing-lutely!

Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not the newest entry into the danceable British indie guitar rock onslaught we've been getting here in the states. Like their brethren Maximo Park, Franz Ferdinand, and Bloc Party, they bring angular guitar and a rump shaking rhythm section to the party along with intelligent lyrics. Unlike their older peers, however, these boys manage to maintain a certain amount of grime in their recordings without sacrificing the musicianship presented. The tracks are slick and hook ridden but just raw enough to maintain the earnest tone that the lyrics present. Singer and songwriter Alex Turner uses everyday inspiration for his expertly crafted, witty pop songs; referencing aggressive club bouncers ("From the Ritz to the Rubble"), lame scene poseurs ("Fake Tales of San Francisco", and parasitic hangers-on ("Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..") to paint a picture of life as he sees it in his small town. Certainly, they are not completely innovative or groundbreaking, but how much can that really matter when just hearing them makes you want to dance and smile? Let's just hope they don't implode or get lame like the last couple of Britain's greatly hyped bands The Stone Roses and Oasis.

Release Date: 2.21.2006

Tracks to check out:
"From the Ritz to the Rubble"
"When the Sun Goes Down"
"A Certain Romance"

Arctic Monkeys
Domino Records


Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

You know, the same review could have been written about Everclear after the grunge scene petered out. I'll download and see if your hype meets the test.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Digit said...

The grunge scene petered out? When did this happen?!?!?

10:31 AM  
Blogger LGG said...

Hey, Mr. Biscuit was right about DUNGEN -- I can't get enough of that CD...

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To respond to comment numero uno:

You know, I don't think that I have EVER met anyone who actually, truly and genuinely, thought that Everclear ever possessed ANY artist ingenuity-- let alone carry significance to any form of the ever-illusive "scene". They were, in fact, like most American bands, bottom-feeders.

Now, I say this not out of cattiness because I am sure that Everclear are nice guys and all. However, I need to express my confusion and utter bewilderment about how the dissolution of "The Stone Roses," or even ANY mildly talented British band can be compared with the fart-like ripples that bands such as Everclear, et al., have made. WTF????

I have gotten to know this record by heart, and I have to say that the Arctic Monkeys are pretty great in my opinion. Still, even if one doesn't like it, they will definitely agree that they can actually write well.

Love, Your Mom

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hate brittish people.worse than canadains.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

Mr. Biscuits is apparently a cat. What do cats know about music? nothing. Andrew Lloyd Webber proved that.

And I didn't think Mr. B was claiming that the Arctic Monkeys had any artistic ingenuity either... just saying that they are the latest to take up the mantle of "rump-shaking" Brit-pop kings. Just as Everclear once took up the mantle of angst-ridden, plaid-wearin', slacker sad-sacs.

And as of yet, the Arctic Monkeys haven't even made the fart-ripple that Everclear's hit Santa Monica made. I'm just sayin'.

But that Dungen cd is pretty interesting... I'll give y'all that!

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about the conversation in question is that the Arctic Monkeys in fact HAVE made a tremendous wave (as opposed to ripple) even before the album officially came out. That was the point. Everclear are not even worth mentioning (when they were making records and in retrospect). That was the other point.

Love, YM

2:29 PM  
Blogger Mr. Biscuits said...

I'd say that selling 360,000 copies in a week is a pretty big ripple. Especially in a day and age where people can get music for free over the web. I'd certainly be interested in knowing what the first week sales of Everlear's debut (Sparkle and Fade) were so we can compare and contrast.

It's also interesting to me that the talk is not so much about whether the Arctic Monkeys are actually good. I, for one, am getting a little tired of people that dismiss artists because they have managed to gain momentum or have some success. I see it every day in the store where I work. Indier-than-thou kids who completely blow off great music. Personally, I think they're all just jealous they didn't find it first.

So what if they sell a crap load of records, if the music is good, it's good. If it's poop, it's poop. In my opinion, they deserve to sell a lot of records and make a good living at it, because i like what they happen to do. If you don't, that's a valid opinion and I respect it. Just don't write them off before you give them a chance.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Mr. Biscuits said...

Oh, and to defend cats, it's not our fault that Mr Andrew Lloyd Webber dressed a bunch of people up and suits and made them sing crap. It was insulting to cat-kind and a speciesist display at best. It in no way reflects our ability to create/critique music.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this cd is AMMWAAAZZING. i'm uber stoked. i'm going to buy it cause downloading kills kittens.

fresh blood.

3:48 PM  

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