Unless your definition of success rests on how many private yachts you can afford, Arctic Monkeys were already massive way before they inked a deal with Domino in June 2005. People obsessing over the songs? Sold-out gigs full of stage-diving nutcases? Hardcore fans pressed up against venue windows, just hoping to catch a glimpse? Such checkpoints have all been ticked. So, here we are, standing at the precipice of something possibly really big, but it all almost doesn't matter because their debut album is so damn good.
The reference points are wide and varied. Musically, there's musical bits of The Stone Roses, What's The Story Morning Glory and Nevermind. As catchy as those reference points are, it's the lyrics that won the Arctic Monkeys such fiercely dedicated fans so quickly: a mix of the observational storytelling of Davies and Weller crossed with the harsher documentary eye of Mike Skinner of The Streets and Ghost Town-era Specials.
Alex Turner’s reputation as a phrase-maker has been assured since the headlong rush of Arctic Monkeys’ early singles drove them to this, the fastest selling debut album of any British band in history. Opener "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" - a tribute to a moody girlfriend that, for all its witty barbs is tinted with sweet affection.
1. The View From The Afternoon
2. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
3. Fake Tales Of San Francisco
4. Dancing Shoes
5. Still Take You Home
6. Riot Van
7. Red Light Indicates The Doors Are Secure
8. Mardy Bum
9. Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But...
10. When The Sun Goes Down
11. From The Ritz To The Rubble
12. A Certain Romance