Thursday, March 4, 2010

Arctic Monkeys Make A Virtue of Their Limitations

Originally posted on November 6, 2008

Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, the classic lineup for alt-indie groups following upon longtime practice that starts at least as early as the Ventures (sans vocals, of course) in the late ‘50s. England’s Arctic Monkeys follow on that path, and on last year’s Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino) they perfect their rough and tumble version of the instrumentation with a group of songs that have a brash freshness.

They aren’t afraid to stick within their musical limitations and make something good of them. It’s beyond garage, mind you, and they work hard to populate each song with arrangements that transmute and transform the basic aspects of playing in this style. So there are plenty of things that let you hang your hat on your ears and give them some healthy exercise, to garble and mutate a set of metaphors.

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