Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am That\'s What I\'m Not

by Lynne Sloggett Rating: Release Date:

Hot on the heels of their shock No.1 single "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor", Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not confirms Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys as the UK underground’s most proselytising young preachers of the DIY gospel. Marrying nervy, caffeine-and-cigarettes indie clatter to conversational, pretence-free lyrics and the occasional burst of off-the-cuff eloquence--"No time for Montagues or Capulets/Just banging tunes and DJ sets", proffers "…Dancefloor"--it’s an instant, pulse-racing hit.

No question, the Monkeys are more sinners than saints. The opening "The View From The Afternoon" predicts a ruckus with a whole lot more grit than the Kaisers can muster, while on the mellow "Riot Van", a tale of underage drinking and cop-baiting culminates in a messy beating in the back of a station-wagon. Look beyond the Arctics’ bristly, laddish exterior, however, because it’s actually affairs of the heart that comprise this album’s secret core: see the sweaty-palmed "Dancing Shoes", bearing testament to the trial of nerves that is pulling in a suburban indie nightclub, or "Mardy Bum"--tribute to a moody girlfriend that, for all its witty barbs ("I’ve seen your frown and it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun"), is tinted with sweet affection.--Louis Pattison

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