So you haven't had enough of the Arctic Monkeys yet? Good, because most people haven't. Not too long after their debut release, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Arctic Monkeys are returning with a brand spankin' new EP. The digital only album, entitled Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys, is released just in time for their second tour of North America. It also boasts the same raw energy and emotion that could be heard on their LP, as well as the demos that were floating around the internet late last year.
The EP kicks off with the chunky guitar and tongue in cheek album cut, "The View From The Afternoon," and then works its way into the punk-driven "Cigarette Smoker Fiona." On this track the lads remind me why I love them so much. Like the Britpop bands that paved the way for them, Arctic Monkeys manage to cross the line of familiar topics normally covered and instead focus on the glamorization of youth and the gritty side of city life. For example, singer Alex Turner spits out (dare I say raps out?), "Her brother's gone off to the strippers to make up for all the lost time / She could have been one of the bitches, but she's actually alright." You gotta love songs that include bitches and strippers.
As the EP continues, the Arctic Monkeys show us that they are so much more than in your face rock. They also have a softer side that they showcase in the next track, "Despair In The Departure Lounge." At times this song reminds me of the first demos I heard from the band because Turner's voice is muted and distorted. The same goes for "No Buses," the fourth tune on the EP. Once more, these are fine songs for people that thought Arctic Monkeys were only a one trick pony. It's also nice to hear songs that are not polished to perfection and remain close to their roots.
"Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?," the final song on the album, brings back the familiar post punk sound they do so well. It's easy to envision 20-year-old kids moshing around a small sweaty club while listening to this, much like they were at the band's first New York City show. My favorite part comes about four minutes in with the killer fuzzed out bass line and Turner speaking, rather than singing, in that lovely British accent of his. So who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys? An amazing band that if you don't know by now, you never will.