The Monkeys are back at creating (maybe unintentionally) some good old hype. The band didn’t even need to release an album to sold out its independent shows (impressive as their tickets were not sold through Live Nation, known for the false demand scandal and resale agreements).
The Sheffield group announced around 36 live shows, festivals gigs and halls, among most of the independent gigs are sold out: Milan, Atlanta, Washington, Lyon, Dusseldorf and all of the dates in Paris, Rome and Berlin!
With the last album, Arctic Monkeys took by storm 2 years of World Tour with the majority of dates in Europe (first years) and USA (second year). AM became an icon of the alternative genre among younger fans, iconic songs like Do I Wanna know? or the much appreciated Why’d you only call me when you’re high? attracted a variety of new listeners. Despite becoming popular among the average random listeners, the 5th studio album did not change much apart from the sounds, Arctic Monkeys stayed original to the chaotically poetic writing only Alex Turner can pull off.
The same Alex Turner was nominated by media sex symbol thanks to the band choice for the AM looks and aesthetic, an aesthetic that was developing since the second half of the Suck it and See tour. The band was since referred to by drawings of combs, leather jackets, mic drops, black treacle paint cans and shades.
Even considering this, die hard fans following the evolution of Arctic Monkeys style were not pleased by the turn the songs took after Humbug (3rd studio album), they would rather hear the band turning back to the quick and unpolished rock from the origins. The style of AM was rather minimalist than chaotic and that meant the four gals from Sheffield would be getting ‘mainstreamed’ very soon, an idea many of the old fans were not comfortable with.
This minimalism is visible in the new graphic visible on all of the band websites but we can’t predict a sound from an image, can’t we? What we do know is Arctic Monkeys were apparently recording since Autumn and that the album will be coming out most likely already in May. All of this according to what fans have heard from Matt Helders.
The band was a favorite for online magazines like NME, Consequence of Sound and Rolling Stones and was features in hundreds of articles and interviews (IHeart, Kroq, BBC and so on). After all of the success and critics in the last years, the expectations are very high.
While talking with my friends about who is going to which gig and how many of us will meet after years, I noticed that the Arctic Monkeys fans live with the hype (oh, the irony) while indie rock fans declare they will desert if the new album will be anything near the deep sounds of AM or the pointy strong notes of Suck it and See or again the dreamy vibe of Humbug rather than sickened outsiders letters as in Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare.
As much as I understand this point of view, I personally found myself on the other side: Arctic Monkeys are not capable of disappointing and that’s why we can’t help the hype.