The snow rolls in, making all the blemished rocks a pure white. The big predators like bears have fallen off into hibernation. The big cats huddle together. While the wolf sneaks about, lurking, ready to pounce on vulnerability, a victimized by winter kind of vulnerability. That’s the tone set in AM by the Arctic Monkeys. The Arctic Monkeys have reigned supreme in 2000’s rock, alongside The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Black Keys. These four bands possess the same fireballs bands like AC/DC and George Thoroughgood , but they have the deep penance bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd sprinkled into their lyrics. What always set Arctic Monkeys apart for me, is what makes AM just a sneakily brilliant album. It’s the SEX/DRUGS/ROCK N ROLL, but with the curvatures of post-modernity. It’s not the “fuck all without remorse,” it’s the “let’s have fun, until our souls undue themselves.” While those two ideas sound similar, they are structurally opposing, like magnetic poles.
AM, the fourth Arctic Monkeys album, is about the partying, the animalistic; but deep to the core is a foreknowledge of the self-destruction. The imagery of the wolf, alone on his hunt, but the pack is close enough for when the hunt requires their assistance. All white everything, in the snow. Until the wolf paints the white canvas red with blood from the art of his killing, the wolf prowls, lurking for carnal pleasure and pure sustenance.
The rhythms the Arctic Monkeys compose have always been their distinction for me, like Jack’s shredding in The White Stripes, or Julian’s voice in The Strokes. Their collective tone is set by their pulsing rhythm. This album is near perfection regarding that rhythm. Each track seems more subversive and delusional. Like the wolf’s certainty of the hunt.
I haven’t listened to an album on loop like this since UMO’s II in February. So there is definitely a sense of communal sync, a better understanding of my own creep and lurking, a perspective of my inner wolf who looks to prey on the weak when the situation around me works in my favor. That’s what this album speaks to, the devilish but somewhat pure force of our carnal desires. Who better to cover those emotions and ideas than a revolutionary force in current rock, thanks to the Arctic Monkeys, for staying true to your style, but evolutionary in your art.