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Arctic Monkeys set to unleash ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’

By M&C News Apr 11, 2007, 17:42 GMT

Arctic Monkeys set to unleash ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’

Snarly and stone-sharpened, the Arctic Monkeys open their sophomore effort with "Brianstorm," a bracing blast of guitar fractures and rhythmic herky-jerks. Alex Turner\'s voice is the centerpiece, scoured the way the Streets\' Mike Skinner\'s quick. Favourite Worst Nightmare moves from frontal blast quickly to the lean, mid-paced pop nugget, "Teddy Picker," which even with its clear guitars and straight rhythms still has Turner\'s tart intonation piercing the air. The tugging ...more

'Favourite Worst Nightmare' is described as everything you hoped Arctic Monkeys would do next. Not so much a sequel as an upgrade, a breakneck techni-color journey through screwball punk and guitar-fuelled dance floor heroics. The album is set to be released on April 23rd from Domino Records / Warner.

The album is also described as very, very fast and very, very loud. A “brilliant” racket that proves there's infinitely more to Arctic Monkeys than writing pretty little ditties. Yet at the same time boasting some of the strongest songs they've ever written.

Musically at least, it follows on from the last songs they wrote from 'Whatever...'; 'View From The Afternoon', 'From The Ritz To The Rubble' and 'Vampires'. A fast and throbbing record was always part of the plan. They did have slow songs, but as Alex points out, "they were never as much fun in the rehearsal room or whatever so why do them? I'd rather make an album like that that's exciting. I don't really want to make it sound like we've 'grown up'."

And Alex's razorsharp-wit is on tantalising form. Take Brian, the flash, insufferable anti-hero of Morricone-gone-drill'n'bass opening shot “Brianstorm.” Whether through bad memory or good manners, they won't reveal his true identity, but scummy men, it seems, come in all shapes and sizes.

Alex remembers: "What happened were we met this guy, and when he left the room we were a bit freaked out by his presence, so we did like a brainstorm for what he was like, drew a little picture and wrote things about him."

"He was right weird," shudders Jamie Cook. "He just appeared with, like, a business card..." "... and like a round neck T-shirt and a tie loosely round it, I'd never seen that before. It felt like he were trying to get inside your mind. We were checking out his attire, freaked out. He definitely left a mark on us. He might have been a magician. He might even be here now. But if we ever found out who he was, it might spoil it."

And despite how far you go, the songs have found that life's quibbles don't really change wherever you go. “D Is For Dangerous” - the source of the line 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' itself - is a typically colorful tale of 'dirty little herberts' and their sexual politics where insecurity is no barrier to promiscuity, of "desperately trying to recreate what was only three quarters of an hour ago." The prickly “Balaclava,” meanwhile finds that the innocent punch-ups of “Riot Van” have given way to something more sinister.

Elsewhere, Alex lets the listener deeper into his own soul. The album's pop centrepiece “Fluorescent Adolescent” talks sharply of fishnets and boy-slags and “little books of sextips” and remembering “when you used to be a rascal.” It's the story of "somebody that once you thought was amazing, and turns out not to be." And what started as "a pisstake song we were just having a laugh with," has turned into a bigger tune than you could ever imagine. A disco-inflected cousin of “Mardy Bum” with “Festival Anthem of 2007” tattooed all over it in gaudy pink and green.

Still intact is Alex's knack of spinning magic out of the mundane. Emotional centre “The Only Ones Who Know” sounds like a tender song of longing; but, insists Alex it dates back to an innocuous story of two newcomers to the city one Fresher's Week. “There was this girl and this lad, who had obviously been lumped together, and they just asked us, it was like Sunday night, 'where's good to go to tonight?' I wrote that about them.”

But such a simple request for directions stirred a romantic spirit in Alex, who, hoping they would be “holding hands by New Year's Eve” made it “harder to believe that true romance can't be achieved these days.” Maybe they've got married by now.

Then there's the “goodbye songs,” the energetic Wizard-of-Oz fairytale “Old Yellow Bricks” (“Dorothy was right though”) and the plaintive “505.” Perhaps their most daring work yet, it weaves golden swathes of spidery guitar around a plaintive Alex, winding his way through hotel corridors, crooning in anticipation of the adventures ahead. But more of those on the next album.

But if 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' belongs to anybody it's the songs themselves - all four of them this time - not just the funny one who writes songs about girls on dancefloors. From “This House Is A Circus” supercharged waltz, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Duran Duran reference in tribute to “Dancefloor” to the dense prog (yes, prog) of the stultifying “If You Were There, Beware” (which begins like the end of 'Vampires' then only gets madder), it's the sound of four men gorging themselves on musical possibility, informed as much by (off the top of their heads), Prodigy, ESG, Shocking Blue and Release The Beast as any of their indie comrades. “Thinking of the music we've heard since we made the first record,” says Alex, “we'd heard f**k all really."

Next up, recreating such fast and furious songs live is going to test every fibre of their being (Matt has even taken up boxing to have any hope of surviving the tours), but with barely a moment to catch their breath, the Arctic Monkeys are ready for action. Again. How do you follow up one of the most adored albums of all time? Simple. You make an even better one. No-one ever said it was going to be easy.

‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Visit the music database for more information and a complete track listing. Arctic Monkeys Tickets are available at M&C's Ticket Database. Tour dates include:

4/27 - Indio, CA - Coachella Festival
5/1 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
5/2 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
5/3 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
5/4 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
5/7 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
5/8 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
5/9 - Pontiac, MI - Clutch Cargo's
5/11 - Toronto, ONT - Kool Haus
5/12 - Montreal, QUE - Theatre Olympia
5/13 - Boston, MA - Avalon
5/15 - NYC - Hammerstein Ballroom
5/16 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
5/17 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Foundry
5/19 - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
5/20 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live

Further Reading on M&C

Arctic Monkeys Biography - - Arctic Monkeys Movies -


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Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare

Snarly and stone-sharpened, the Arctic Monkeys open their sophomore effort with "Brianstorm," a bracing blast of guitar fractures and rhythmic herky-jerks. Alex Turner's voice is the centerpiece, scoured the way ...more

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