Who the heck are the Arctic Monkeys?

152315__arctic_lWill Americans listen to a band that’s as provincially English as eel pie and spotted dick? The recent hype coming from across the pond for the Arctic Monkeys has been overwhelming (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is the fastest-selling debut album ever in Britain; it’s already No. 5 on NME’s writers’ poll of the best British albums ever made, and so on). The New York Times’ usually sober-minded pop critic Kelefa Sanneh falls for them hard in a profile published today. But do they have a chance in America (Whatever will be released here on Feb. 21) or will we find them as quaint and easy to ignore as Robbie Williams?

Listen to the four songs posted at the Monkeys’ MySpace page, and you may hear a lot of their Domino labelmates Franz Ferdinand and a little Pulp. They’re raw and immature, and while they could ripen into something big, to my ears, they’re not all that and a bag of crisps. Am I wrong, PopWatchers?


Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Brad Mullet

    It’s be a shame if the Monkeys didn’t make it, but they’re too British for you guys! If you want a dose of English pop culture, then this is the real deal.
    Not really fair to compare them to Robbie, though. They’re in a totally different league and I don’t think the USA has a market for them at the moment.

  • Brad Mullet

    BTW, you’re missing the “h” in “http”….

  • ScriptGrrl

    Their shows a few months ago in NY and LA were the hardest to get into (with $10 tickets for sale on craigslist in the hundreds). Plus they were fantastic live, with the audience reciting every lyric back at them. The Monkeys are already sold out in LA for 3/15 and are considered the hottest ticket at the upcoming sxsw. Robbie Williams never had any of THAT…

  • markbails

    ScriptGrrl, Sorry, Robbie did have the same advance buzz, and sell out shows at Bowery Ballroom in NYC, then nothing. Hispters appear to have very short memories.

  • Lucas Jensen

    No wonder no one in America cares about the NME.

  • daisyj

    I’ve heard their single ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’ a bunch of times now, and it’s a fun song, but I wouldn’t exactly call them the greatest ever. Could be a hit, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some success, but the way the British music press goes crazy over a new next big thing every week or so makes me a little skeptical.

  • jarrod

    Great debut, finally some fresh tunes
    I bet that u look good…
    there’s songs like
    the view from the afternoon
    Mardy Bam
    when the sun goes down
    still take you home
    to enjoy

  • qedavis

    Arctic Monkeys- House Band feature
    Lauches: Monday 4/10 at 7am
    Background: Arctic Monkeys will be taking over and we’ll have a ton of exclusive content from them including an Uber Live performance taped a few weeks back at Webster Hall in New York, exclusive interviews and a Backstage Pass feature.

  • Samantha

    The arctic monkey’s are far from immature and raw. Their lyrics are witty but yet are incredibly relevant to social issues within society. Their musical talent is amazing – they write all of their own material and are outstanding performers with bags of energy. Their talent certainly goes further than Robbie and actually most American stars who are poor role models and constantly sing about breaking up with their boyfriends/girlfriends. As a Brit I would just like to say (in a broad sheffield accent) “COME ON THE ARCTIC MONKEYS!”

  • Jack Carter

    Even most of us brits think the Arctic Monkeys are a pile of total excrement. You’ve got enough bad acts of your own without taking ours as well.

  • gbditpny scfelqtjo

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  • Ash87

    “Even most of us brits think the Arctic Monkeys are a pile of total excrement”
    Are you on Crack?
    The record sales and sell out gigs seriously Say otherwise.

  • kubis


  • merzbow


  • Anonymous

    nme is just stupid, they get excited about crap bands that are no more than a bunch of posh kids keeping beats half the time. But Arctic monkeys 1st album and the stuff before was brilliant, really that good. stuff since is ok, but lacks edge if you get what i mean

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