Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not
, the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys
, captures the band mashing up the Strokes
and the Libertines
at will, jamming too many angular riffs into too short of a space, tearing through the songs as quickly as possible. But where the Strokes
camouflaged their songwriting skills with a laconic, take-it-or-leave-it sexiness, and the Libertines
mythologized England with a junkie poeticism, the Artic Monkeys
have made an album for the Information Overload Age: nearly every track here is overloaded with riffs and words, and just when it's about to sort itself out, it stops short. This doesn't make them or their debut bad, just surprisingly predictable: they're competent, lacking enough imagination or restlessness to do anything other than the expected.