Favourite Worst Nightmare

Arctic Monkeys

Domino, 2007


REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


The Arctic Monkeys formed in 2003 and caused quite a stir in England. Their success has been mainly underground, recording a demo and then giving it away and -- gasp -- not suing when fans copied it and distributed it amongst themselves. It's the perfect name for this band, an oxymoron in the animal world. The name doesn't suggest that the music on this release also brings another word to mind: infectiousness. Not the kind doctors deal with -- rather, the type you experience when you listen to a release repeatedly and, days after listening to it, you start humming a song. This time, though, it comes after just two listens. It’s the tempos of these songs, predominantly upbeat affairs, that make references to diverse artsist like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the White Stripes, and Faith No More. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band -- Alex Turner (vocals/guitar), Jamie Cook (guitar), Andy Nicholson (bass), and Matt Helders (drums) -- create fun tracks like "Flourescent Adolescent," which attacks growing older head-on as Turner sings, "You used to get it in your fishnets / Now you only get it in your night dress / Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness." On top of the music, this is an interesting tale about a former wild one being tamed. "This House Is A Circus" has a nearly perfect Police groove -- think "Man In A Suitcase" in terms of vocal delivery. "If You Were There, Beware" begins with a syncopated guitar riff that’s intensified when the rest of the band joins in the aggressive instrumental that builds until it is dropped into a more subdued groove. Helders shines on this track as his snare nails the backbeat. What is noteworthy on this track is that the title of the song is in the verse of the song, not repeatedly driven into your head during a chorus. This sometimes overused strategy serves Turner's purpose here.

In the "The Bad Thing," Turner is amusing when he sings "Do the bad thing / Take off your wedding ring / But it won’t make it that much easier, it might make it worse," which leads into a description of an encounter with "Somebody's girlfriend's talkin' to me but it’s all right / She's sayin' that he’s not gonna slap me or try to attack me / He's not the jealous type." The final two tracks, "Old Yellow Bricks" and the slow "505" end this strong musical escapade.

The Arctic Monkeys have created a buzz in the music world, one that is well-deserved. It’s only a matter of time before they are more well-known in the States. Now is the time to dive into their world, and Favourite Worst Nightmare is the perfect platform from which to take the plunge.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Domino, and is used for informational purposes only.