Saturday, March 25, 2006

The New Monkey Express

With seemingly everyone on earth passing comment on the Arctic Monkeys, i feel like i probably ought to join in (albeit probably a bit late).
OK, so they are a good band. They have some very good songs. But they're bloody overrated! Half their songs sound the same! Why was their debut album declared the 5th best British album ever, days after its release, by the NME? Why are some fans writing in saying no, it's the best British album ever? Someone wrote in saying it's better than The Stone Roses and The Queen Is Dead, for Morrissey's sake! Those are two of my favourite albums ever and i can listen to the Stone Roses and the Smiths over and over without getting bored of them, yet when i first listened to the Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That I Am Not, i had to give up after a few songs because they were too samey, i couldn't tell when one track ended and the next began. It's a bit ridiculous to say it's better than The Queen Is Dead - even if you don't like the Smiths (for some strange reason), you have to admit that they are capable of doing songs that aren't all the same: in fact they're very diverse. Both the Roses and the Smiths were also very good musicians, whereas the Monkeys are pretty average musicians (although good songwriters).
There's some deserving new indie bands out there that haven't had half the hype of the Monkeys. I personally like The Upper Room, who have achieved some success with their nice new single "All Over This Town" which sounds like a smoother, more tuneful version of The Ordinary Boys. (May be something to do with the fact that both bands are from the Sussex coast). Check out the videos for "AOTT" and the striking, haunting, icy-cool, indie-disco "Combination" on their myspace.
Another indie band worth looking out for (and which i have mentioned before) is Art Brut (a.k.a. the band that did the "Formed A Band" song), basically the Arctic Monkeys with a few more good songs and a bit less hype. I saw them at Tin Pan Alley Festival and they put on one of the best performances, and i like their album Bang Bang Rock & Roll. They've been around for longer than the Arctic Monkeys and have a similar style - cheeky, shouty, anthemic, indie rock and roll - yet for some reason have never had the same hype. Could it be something to do with the fact that they've made some cheeky jibes at a certain music magazine? Could lyrics like "haven't read the NME in so long" be a possible reason for BBR&R only getting 7/10 while similar or inferior albums (such as Whatever People Say I Am..., or Hard-Fi's Stars of CCTV) got 8/10 or more? Naaahhhh...
Also We Are Scientists are good, again if you like the current crop of new indie/britpop, you might like these American Britpopalikes.
The Boyfriends are also worth checking out (and they have 2 free mp3s on their website!), they're very Morrissey-esque, and he himself is a fan of them.
Right, that's all i can think of at the moment. I'll be off to bed soon. Oh, and not music-related at all, but if you're a fan of the mailwatch blog/site (taking a swipe at the Daily Mail newspaper and other badly-written, constantly-whinging, tabloid rags) then you might be interested that they've got a forum to go with it too now. No BNP supporters please, we're British and we're nice.


Blogger ISLAND MONKEY said...

That map is hilarious satire... PS agree with you about the AMs. They are in that dangerous hype zone now which turns a lot of people off. The NME is pants basically - it has been for at least 20 years. On the Stone Roses - when they reviewed the Stone Roses debut they said it was crap only to start raving about it when the entire world decided it was brilliant...

11:41 pm  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Thanks for stopping over, come by often, I think you'll like it.

8:03 pm  
Blogger SwissToni said...

The AM's are hyped, but there is an awful lot of nostalgic hagiography written about both the smiths and the stone roses as well. Don't get me wrong - I love both bands to bits... and "the queen is dead" pisses all over the monkeys, but there is a bit of revisionist history going on with both those albums (as island monkey said). I think the smiths are sounding better with age, but personally I think the Roses album is dating a little bit. *and* Ian Brown is nowhere near as good a vocalist or lyricist as Alex Turner (nevermind Moz)

The Monkeys will never be as good as their hype, and only time will tell if that's a classic album, but I do know that "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" got me dancing in the shower when I first heard it.

You can't argue with that.

The NME? Shit sandwich. But that's its job.

Hello by the way. Nice to make your blogular acquaintance.


8:31 pm  

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