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Arctic Monkeys

By Daan van Stralen

Arctic Monkeys are an English band formed in 2002, consisting of 4 band members. Alex Turner (lead vocals, lead/rhythm guitar 2002-present), Jamie Cook (rhythm/lead guitar 2002-present), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals 2006-present) and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals 2002present). Former members include Andy Nicholson (bass guitar, backing vocals 2002-2006) and Glyn Jones (lead vocals, rhythm guitar 2002). The band have released four studio albums, namely: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), Favorite Worst Nightmare (2007), Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011). They also released a live album: At the Apollo (2008). Their debut album became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history, surpassing Oasis' Definitely Maybe and remains the fastest-selling debut album for a band in the UK. Arctic Monkeys are seen as one of the first acts to come to the public attention through the Internet because of fan sites and not by the band itself, with critics saying they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted, advertised and found. They are also seen as one of the most leading bands to be part of the so called post-punk revival in the UK, after achieving commercial success and spawning two number one singles with their debut album.

History
Early years and record deal (20022005) They started practicing at Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend, and had their first performance on 13 June 2003 at The Grapes in Sheffield city-centre. After a few performances in 2003 the band began to record demos at 2fly studios in Sheffield. 17 songs were demoed in all and the collection, now known as Beneath the Boardwalk, were burned on to CDs to give away at gigs, which were shared amongst fans. The first up loader wanted to give it a name, so he named it after where he got the CDs; the Boardwalk. Even though the demos were spread individually, because of this people thought Beneath the Boardwalk was their first album, while it is just the of those demos. The band did not mind the downloading of their songs, as they gave them away for free, trying to get more attention. It worked. In June 2005 they signed to Domino. Their first single with this record company, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", was released on 17 October 2005 and went straight to #1 on the UK Singles Chart. Their second single, "When the Sun Goes Down", released on 16 January 2006, also went straight to #1 on the UK Singles. Albums and EPs (2006-2012) In 2006 they released their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, featuring their #1 singles. This became the fastest selling debut album in UK history, selling 363,735 copies in the first week, and sold more copies on the first day, than the rest of the top 20 albums combined. A few months later, they released a five-track EP called who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys, saying they didnt want to get bored by their own music. 2007 is the year they released their second album: Favorite worst nightmare which also went straight to #1. It was described as very loud and very fast. On the 29th of april all 12 tracks of this album featured in the top 200.

In 2009 their third album called Humbug was released. Though the 3 singles of this album didnt achieve the same popularity as the others, this album also went straight to #1. The Humbug tour was from January 2009 till April 2010. Their latest album Suck it and see was released on the 6th of June 2011. You can guess that this album reached #1 as well. This makes them the second band in history to debut four albums in a row at the top of the charts.

Influences
The band's music falls under the genre of indie rock. On the first album Alex Turner examined human behavior in nightclubs. Alex Turner describes "Dancing Shoes" as being about "people always looking to pull when they go out however much they mask it. These themes continued on the following album Favorite Worst Nightmare with the band still progressing as musicians. Humbug featured mostly desert rock style as the influence of producer Josh Homme (queens of stone age) was more than evident. Their latest album Suck It and See sees the band exploring different styles, mixing them with newfound maturity. Alex Turner said: "I think the new album is a balance between our first three. There's nothing about taxi ranks or anything like that, but there's a bit of the standpoint I had on those early songs and the sense of humor, but also there's a bit of the 'Humbug' stuff which is kind of off in the corners."

Opinion
I recently rediscovered the Arctic Monkeys. I knew them, and a few songs, but it was only a few weeks ago that I started listening to them. Since then I really havent done anything else. The reason that I and I think most other people really like this band is because they simply have a unique sound, as well as quite the variation between their songs and albums. Not only do they have very fast and powerful songs, some of them are just plain catchy. Also, being a drummer myself, I can really enjoy the work Matt Helders has done. Just like their songs self, his drumming is fast, powerful and catchy. Id have to say that normally I dont really like this type of music, but this is a big exception, I really urge you to give them a try, and I am eager to hear what their future work will bring.