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Arctic Monkeys are a hugely successful indie rock band hailing from Sheffield. The band is comprised of Alex Turner (lead vocals and guitar), Jamie Cook (guitar), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Matt Helders (drums and backing vocals). The band was formed when Turner and Cook got guitars for Christmas while at school and proceeded to begin practicing before recruiting Helders and their original bassist, Andy Nicholson. They were the first band to ever become really successful through the internet, as they handed out free demos of their songs to fans at gigs, who then uploaded them to social networking sites (more specifically, My Space), leading to the band generating a huge fan following without even realising it. Eschewing various big-name record labels such as EMI, the band instead signed on to indie label Domino Records and recorded their first LP Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in 2006. The album went straight into the charts at #1 and, more impressively, became the fastest-selling debut album in UK history, replacing Kula Shaker's K and OasisDefinitely Maybe. This propelled the band into almost instant stardom and put them into media frenzy as they became renowned for their down-to-earth lyrics about teenage life in Sheffield. They followed up with the hard, fast sounds of Favourite Worst Nightmare in 2007.

After a brief hiatus in which Alex Turner embarked on his side project 'The Last Shadow Puppets' with Miles Kane, the band released their third album Humbug in 2009, showing a depart from their original high-energy style to something more psychedelic. Their most recent release, Suck It And See, returns to a rock-oriented sound.

Band members:

  • Alex Turner - lead vocals, guitar (2002-present)
  • Jamie Cook - guitar (2002-present)
  • Nick O’Malley - bass, backing vocals (2002-present)
  • Matt Helders - drums, backing vocals (2002-present)
  • Andy Nicholson - bass guitar (2002–2006)
  • Glyn Jones - vocals, rhythm guitar (2002)


Albums:

  • Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)
  • Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)
  • Humbug (2009)
  • Suck It and See (2011)

EPs:

  • Five Minutes With Arctic Monkeys (2005)
  • Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? (2006)
  • iTunes Live: London Festival '11 (2011)

Other releases

  • Beneath the Boardwalk (2004) (a semi-official bootleg collection of demos and the like that was the primary reason for the hype that surrounded the band before the release of "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor")
  • Live at the Apollo (2007) (live album)

Tropes used by this band include:

  • Audience Participation Song: The first few lines of "When The Sun Goes Down" are traditionally sung by the audience at concerts.
    • Their concerts put a lot of emphasis on audience participation in general.
  • Bishounen: Definitely Alex Turner. Pretty much every video of them on YouTube has some comment along the lines of "Alex is so pretty it hurts!!".
  • Darker and Edgier: Humbug to most fans, since it's a lot slower and more psychedelic than the first two albums.
  • Fading Into the Next Song: "This House Is a Circus" into "If You Were There, Beware".
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..."
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Matt is sanguine, Jamie is choleric, Alex is melancholy and Nick is phlegmatic.
  • Lighter and Softer: Suck It And See, inspired in part by Pop Revival bands like Best Coast.
  • L Is for Dyslexia: Subverted by the song Brianstorm. No, it's not meant to be spelled Brainstorm. It helps to look at the lyrics, which apparantly serve as a Take That aimed at a particularly memorable fan named "Brian."
  • Long Title: Tons. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, “You Probably Couldn’t See For the Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me”, “Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure”, “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But…”, and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”, among others.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Suck It And See.
  • The Pete Best: Glyn Jones, who left the band long before they had even recorded the material that appears on Beneath the Boardwalk.
    • Andy Nicholson is a borderline example. He left the band for personal reasons soon after the first album came out, and just before the band started getting international attention.
  • Recycled Lyrics: Intentionally or not, the line “get on your dancing shoes” appears in both “Dancing Shoes” and “All My Own Stunts”.
  • Signature Song: "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" or “Flourescent Adolescent”, depending on who you ask.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Inverted. They're not the Arctic Monkeys...
  • Stop and Go: Several examples, including "Brianstorm", "If You Were There, Beware", and "The View From The Afternoon".
  • Title Drop: “D Is For Dangerous” for Favourite Worst Nightmare.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Used occasionally on Humbug and in spades on Suck It And See. An example from the latter:

  “Library pictures of the quickening canoe/the first of its kind to get to the moon”[1]

Notes

  1. And that’s only the first line of the song!
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