Will Americans listen to a band that’s as provincially English as eel pie and spotted dick? The recent hype coming from across the pond for the Arctic Monkeys has been overwhelming (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is the fastest-selling debut album ever in Britain; it’s already No. 5 on NME’s writers’ poll of the best British albums ever made, and so on). The New York Times’ usually sober-minded pop critic Kelefa Sanneh falls for them hard in a profile published today. But do they have a chance in America (Whatever will be released here on Feb. 21) or will we find them as quaint and easy to ignore as Robbie Williams?
Listen to the four songs posted at the Monkeys’ MySpace page, and you may hear a lot of their Domino labelmates Franz Ferdinand and a little Pulp. They’re raw and immature, and while they could ripen into something big, to my ears, they’re not all that and a bag of crisps. Am I wrong, PopWatchers?