ďThe city has become world famous for its production of steel. Many innovations in the industry have been developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel. This fuelled an almost tenfold increase in the population since the start of Industrial Revolution. It gained its city charter in 1893 and became officially titled the City of Sheffield. International competition caused a decline in local industry during the 1970s and '80s, impacting on Sheffield's population. In recent years the city has attempted to reinvent itself as a sporting and technology city; there are signs that this is reversing its fortunes."
The above is a quote from Wikipedia, now why the hell have I started of with that little history about Sheffield? Sheffield is like any other boring town in the North, industry has gone and it has surplus effects on the economical and social effects on its community. How does this relate to the Arctic Monkeys? Class and social divide.
People claim that the Arctic Monkeys are the northern equivalent to The Libertines. If that means they make music for the working class and their gigs are the working class encompassed in a sea of escapism from the drudgery of living in a boring northern city where youíd rather be at a gig than twiddling your thumbs sat at home watching T.V, than yeah Iíd agree that this is definitely the next step post Doherty. Itís the tale of the weekend, what young lads get up to
Anyway enough rambling on to the review:
The album kicks off with View from the afternoon itís a positive start, with its thrashing guitars and Alexís lyrics converging cohesively. The chorus is the songs main asset where it displays everything great about the band: catchy hook laden infectious guitar music. The next song I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor helped to bring them to the masses. Itís a fantastic catchy as f*** song. Itís primarily about a posh "bird" and a young man efforts and flirtatious exploits. The bass line really drives the song home here especially in the chorus. Fake Tales Of San Francisco provides one of the best lyrics on the album in:
You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham
So get off the bandwagon, and put down the handbook
About a terrible band and fake exploits, certainly reminds me of people whom I know. This is another reason I like the band, I certainly am able to relate to his lyrics.
Musically itís good with some nice guitar and bass. Dancing Shoes progresses nicely and gives another informative lyrical account of a young mans (I assume) difficulties in trying to pull at a club. Short snappy and is the best vocals on the album. The bass and drums again provide a nice platform for the lyrics to flow effortlessly. You Probably Couldnít See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me and Still Take You Home were the only two tracks I had not previously heard. The former starts with some energetic and thrashing guitars. The bands vocals are quite strong and Matt Helders input is welcome. The latter starts out with a bit of background noise before kicking straight in. About an old acquaintance (or flame) provides some quite witty lyrics such as:
I canít see through your fake tan"
Before Kicking into the chorus of ďWhat do you know, you donít know nothing". Again the backing vocals of ďda da da daaa" set this song off well.
Riot Van is slightly reminiscent of slow burning jazz. While not my favourite song of the whole album it describes an encounter with the police. Lyrically this is quite good but not the best. This gives a quite good social comment, which even Jarvis Cocker could be proud of. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured is a really great song where the bands hip-hop influences really shine through with Alex almost rapping the verses and is reminiscent of The Streets. Itís a fun song giving the difficulties of getting a Taxi home from a night out, and gives the account of nights events.
Mardy Bum is an up beat account of an existing relationship such as:
And it was up, up and away
Oh, but it's right hard to remember
That on a day like today when you're all argumentative
And you've got the face on".
I suppose comparisons could be made here with oasis, its light-hearted and is carried of well. The next song Perhaps Vampires Is a bit StrongÖ undoubtedly is an attack on their critics and the hype, which the Monkeys seem to be dead against. Indeed itís a good song delving back to the harder part of their repertoire. The next song is Arctic Monkeys second single and consequently their second #1. When The Sun goes Down originally scummy, begins with just Alexís vocals over a clean guitar. Youíve probably already heard this. Anyway it ticks all the boxes of their criteria. Witty lyrics. Yes. Catchy. Yes. A keen interest to detail in the lyrics. Yes.
From The Ritz To The Rubble is well-formulated song, again I can relate to lyrics of this song. Written about Alex Tuners an encounter with a Bouncer (to put it politely) again has a great chorus with drums, guitar and bass all sounding excellent.
A Certain Romance is the longest song and is also the last, starts off with some tribal sounding drums, before guitars join in with the intro. Before breaking down with a guitar. The whole bands are at their best here with some great lyrics,
Don't get me wrong though there's boys in bands
And kids who like to scrap with pool cues in their hands
And just cause he's had a couple of cans
He thinks it's alright to act like a dickhead
Ends with a nice outro, with the guitars fading out.
Some of you may notice that this is my first review, so any criticism is welcome.