March 07, 2006

Their own musical hero

I used Natalie Hanman's piece on the Arctic Monkeys in a Critical Thinking class on Monday. It's a gift for teaching Critical Thinking, because it is packed full of obvious, classic fallacies which students can easily spot (ad hominem attack! Straw man! Inconsistency! Irrelevant appeal to popularity! Irrelevant use of statistics...) The interesting thing is that, without any prompting at all from me, most of the students were soon asking: 'Is this real?' Even those students who like the AMs - actually, especially those - could not believe that someone in their age group would produce an article like that. (For the record, when defending the AMs against the charge that they sounded retro, the students who liked them tended to appeal to the lyrical content - 'they sing about ringtones' - rather than any of the group's sonic qualities.)

Also - remember when I speculated that 'I bet the Arctic Monkeys just love hip hop?' Well, in its report on the NME Awards a couple of weeks ago (February 24 edition), the Times wrote that 'the Sheffield quartet struggled through wellwishers to meet their own musical hero, Kanye West.' Exactly when did this wearisome convention whereby Indie bands feel that they must declare love for black or dance music which clearly has absolutely no influence whatsoever on their own hyper-caucasian Trad rock sound start? I mean, at least Morrissey's 'reggae is vile' was honest. Was it the Stone Roses - or maybe their champions - who initiated this trend, with the pretence that the SRs' repermutation of the white rock ubercanon had some positive relation to rave, rather than offering a reactionary alternative to it? 'Fools Gold' is the only one of their tracks that doesn't sound like 80s Merseybeat, and it is one of the most overrated records ever. It's always reminded me more of a pub band doing an Ege Bamyasi cover than anything resembling rave. Owen says that 'I Wanna be Adored' sounds like the Cult. I'd say the Cult if they had started out in 1967. As a stroppy Byrds tribute band. Playing in a Merseybeat style.

Posted by mark at March 7, 2006 09:04 PM | TrackBack