Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Every so often - or possibly once a week - the usual suspects pluck a band from obscurity and declare them THE NEXT BIG THING! Such was the case with Arctic Monkeys. A recent article in The Guardian had the editor of the NME declare "[they are] going to be the biggest band this country's seen since Oasis", and others chipped in with similar plaudits like they have shares in Domino Records. On the ground, their name buzzes on internet forums and they apparently really do have a huge following already, despite I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor being their first proper single release. Such is the overpowering goodwill towards*/ hype surrounding* [*delete as appropriate] them that your humble reviewer found himself going over the two tracks here with a fine-toothed comb looking for the justification, like a detective at a murder scene who has the nagging thought he may be missing some vital clue, yet still felt somewhat shaky voicing his opinion.
The fact of the matter is that these songs aren't hugely different from those pedalled by a hundred other young (or young-ish), British guitar bands. Think Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs or even The Coral. The most immediately impressive aspect of Arctic Monkeys is undoubtedly their lyrics, which have an element of cheeky chappiness (i.e. a fondness for words like "bird" and occasional swearing) but also dexterity and wit. Sadly, this is undermined by the predictability of the music, even if the guitar on the lead track is slightly scuzzier than normal. There's no doubt this will sound good on the dancefloor while drunkenly shuffling around at your local indie disco, but for now the image in the crystal ball looks hazy.