US verdict on Arctic Monkeys: Don’t Believe The Hype

It’s unusual, to say the least, to have to look to the US for some
perspective on any matter – but US music critics are refusing to buy into
the Arctic Monkeys hype, and well done them, we say. Not because CMU think
that Arctic Monkeys are utter rubbish, not at all, but let’s face it, they
are a lot over-hyped.

Following the band’s first live show in the US, a critic from Variety
magazine, describing frontman Alex Turner as initially “openly hostile” to
his audience, said that the band “have a long way to go”. The review
continued: “It was hard to square the generally uninspired performance with
the album’s youthful energy and crackling intelligence. Maybe this was an
off night. Perhaps, for all the sales and hype, the band has been brought up
too quickly and isn’t ready to headline.”

The Hollywood Reporter was a little kinder, saying that the gig was “not the
messianic exercise it was impossibly built up to be” but that it still “felt
like the real thing” and that despite their disappointing performance
“Turner and the group have a rock authenticity that owes to a mix of genuine
talent and serious youth. Stay tuned.”

The Miami Herald and The Oakland Tribune, however, were pretty merciless.
The Herald’s piece on the band said “The teen rockers revealed a lack of
seasoning. The drummer sang laughably out-of-tune harmonies, its lead singer
wasn’t especially charismatic, the music felt catchy but unexceptional.”

The Oakland Tribune, under a headline which read ‘That’s It?’ wrote: “You’ll
have to excuse the folks who might still be hanging around out front of the
Great American Music Hall looking under rocks and hoping to find something
more. How many times will we fall for this? Few bands have fallen short to a
greater degree than the Arctic Monkeys did in San Francisco. But, then
again, few have had so much room to fall. To be fair, the quartet did put on
a likable show. If I had stumbled into the concert without a head full of
advance buzz on the band, I might have been somewhat impressed. But we all
travel with baggage.”

Despite all that, around five thousand people are said to have turned up to
try and get in to their SXSW gig in Austin on Friday, at 1200 capacity venue
La Zona Rosa.

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