Arctic Monkeys – Who the Fuck are the Arctic Monkeys?

Beyond all odds, your debut record leapt the charts and became the fastest selling debut from any band, ever, in your home country. Even the usual haters find themselves falling head over heels in love with your music. You’re just too darn good to hate. You’ve become a legend among “next big things,” and are, essentially, on top of the world. You’re currently touring with the likes of Bob Dylan and the Strokes.

So, what do you do to follow up success like that? In the case of Britain’s Arctic Monkeys, they’ve decided to drop a five song EP mere months after their breathtaking debut has finally gotten a release stateside. Add on the fact that the EP is filled with songs about dealing with sudden fame, being on the road, and coping with popularity; and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Ohh well, I suppose that’s why we all just love these guys.

On the Arctic Monkeys first technical follow-up from View From The Afternoon, the Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys? EP, the young men from Sheffield are just oozing with gusto, and have put together a release that will stand quite strongly beside their lightning bolt debut. With View From The Afternoon, the boys showed quite well that they could rock; but on Who The Fuck they give a middle-finger high to everyone who says that they can’t write songs, or that they’re a one hit wonder. Look no further than the title track, or “Despair In The Departure Lounge,” for some of Alex Turner & Co.’s best tracks to date.

They turn things down a notch or two, slowing their breakneck pace down to a mere marathon sprint, on many of the tracks here. It opens with carryover track “View From The Afternoon,” followed up by brand new rocker “Cigarette Smoker Fiona.” Things then slow down to near-ballad speed with the sweet, gorgeous “Despair In The Departure Lounge.” Which finds the young Mr. Turner jonesing for a lady left behind. The stellar, easy-going dirty pop tune “No Buses,” which finds Turner carrying the song on the strength of his vocal delivery, only accented by a bit of guitar, piano, and percussion is most definitely the highlight. It’s as good a song as any indie pop band has put out in ages; and is more than worth this EP’s price of admission to hear.

It’s great to hear some new music from the ‘Monkeys, and this EP should do more than an ample job of keeping you occupied until these guys can find their way back into a studio to put together another full length.

(Domino Recording Co.)