For the last 12 years the Yorkshire boys have arguably been the biggest band in the world, at least within the rock/indie spectrum anyway. Transforming from the beloved indie kids of 2005 into a more mature critically acclaimed group they attracted worldwide attention with AM. They’ve had the balls to experiment with their musical approach and it’s generally paid off, Humbug wasn’t immensely popular in the grand scheme of things and daring to change their already winning formula was risky – but it signifies the diverse musical talents they all have in abundance.
The release of AM circa 2013 achieved the arduous task of not just breaking into the mainstream charts but ruling it. The way in which Alex Turner astutely manifested a new image played a pivotal part, becoming an iconic front man every band needs by changing his looks and behaviour and in such a hyperbole manner – it made him much more recognisable and most importantly memorable. The only negative being Helders does not get nearly enough credit for his contribution – equally as important as Turner behind the scenes. So if the Arctic Monkeys are as consistently brilliant as I’m making out; why is their upcoming album so crucial, can’t they be forgiven if they don’t deliver?
For me the quality of the 6th album will be a defining factor in whether they will be remembered as a great band, or one of the great bands. The form in which the album may take remains a mystery; the last three albums were drastically different – we do know however that Iggy Pop has been involved in production. There’s a lot of pressure on them to deliver following seven brit awards and an album that reminded us all that rock music is very much still alive. It might even get better with this upcoming release which may be a deciding factor in if rock makes a commanding comeback which we haven’t seen since 2005; following a Royal Blood #1 album and a Kasabian #1, it could just cause an alternative revolution.
I reckon the outcome will either result in it being a masterpiece which will cement their place in rock history, or the opposite where something is missing and the general album doesn’t quite ‘work’ – more so if then compared to their previous discography. The impending album if they get it wrong could plausibly only appeal to loyalist fans whilst failing to re-capture the attention of the universal myriad who only took notice after AM. In my head they’re already one of the greatest bands ever, certainly in their respective genre however they just haven’t quite hit the household name status that Oasis and Blur achieved in the ’90s.
With the album being rumoured to be a mid-2017 release (they’re late I know!) it won’t be long until we get our hands on it, if it’s then successful, it will solidify the band as a definitive heavyweight of music rubbing shoulders with the greats. I’d bet my left that in 20 years they’re remembered as the best band of the decade – Kasabian respectably tried a disparate approach but 48:13 was underwhleming – and that’s why every household worldwide will be familair with the Artcic Monkeys over Kasabian. Regardless of the outcome of their imminent 6th; my infatuation with the Sheffield foursome will remain – and not just with the Monkeys it’s the same with Death Ramps, Shadow Puppets and any potential individual pursuits.
The Arctic Monkeys were vital to the indie explosion of 2005, remaining one of the few bands who managed to retain their popularity a decade on. If you think about it it’s more impressive than you think, so many bands faded away when the inde craze died – such as Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs. Every single AM album went to number one in the UK charts, then smashing the strenuous task of conquering the US – no pressure this time round then. It’s exciting to see what comes of it all, they will undoubtedly sell out every arena upon touring the new album even if it is mediocre. I’ll be there in Manchester no doubt.
Turner, Helders, O’Malley and Cook could become a quintessential representation for the alternative loving millennials. They’re already close, resonating with that generation, giving them a societal voice of belonging – the most common demographic of fans have grown up and matured alongside the band as moved past the fluorescent adolescent era. Aren’t the boys all electric?
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not will forever be my favourite album, closely followed by AM, Favourite Worst Nightmare, Humbug and then Suck It And See. I’d predict the upcoming album will contest for the number 2/3 spot.
If they play it right it will launch the genre in general back into public consciousness, it feels like an alternative rock revival is imminent – the Arctic Monkeys are the perfect candidates to pioneer the revival.
And still, – “don’t believe the hype”