Arctic Monkeys, Dead!Dead!Dead!, Mach Schau

Matt Butler 02/06/2005

“How many ways to get what to what you want. I use the best. I use the rest. I use the N. M. E…”

That sound you can hear is a train leaving the station and taking away the last few ideals of bands progressing naturally over time. With a new Strokes being created approximately every 14 seconds, bands are now getting less chance of developing as Gary Glitter at the local Snappy Snaps. Instead, Ministries of Musical (Mis)Information are forcing our heads down to suck off the latest flavour of the month. And guess, what? It tastes like shit again.

In the search for the "Next Big Thing", it's easy to forget that most bands don't receive the red carpet treatment due to incorrect cheekbones/haircut/shoes combinations. This was perfectly realised last week when on a night normally reserved for moronically watching ten or so young, media savvy attention-seekers on television was replaced by a night at the local venue watching young, media savvy attention-seekers onstage. A typical W.C. venue was amazingly transformed Changing Rooms-style into THE place to be, selling out quicker than emergency hot cakes parachuted into Celebrity Fit Camp.

So what of acts not yet given the rim-job treatment by those with the industry know-how? Disconcertingly Mach Schau initially reek of 2002 with their riotous punk petulantly flicking V-sings behind the bike sheds to the soundtrack of the shambollocks The Libertines' - 'Arbeit Mach Frei'. Although much follows Mr Doherty- 'Guide To Chaos Theory', what develops is the crash-bang-wallop factor of “The Hives” hot-wiring a fast train on crack with paranoia and charged energy culminating in crashing wrecks. On tracks like 'City Lights' they display the undeniable swagger of a band confident of becoming somebodies, and on a night like tonight that'll do them no harm whatsoever.

But what of the seemingly anti-fashion Dead! Dead! Dead! however? Playing to an audience hungry for a band to share breakfast with on "CD:UK", proceedings don't initially seem appetising. As opener "Vauderville" appropriately asks: “Where do you and I fit in?” However, although the set suffers in context with its mid-paced numbers, the crowd and band eventually fit very well together, due to the quality of songs like "Jack the Ripper", "George Lassoes The Moon" and 'The Mightiest Melodrama Of Them All". The latter track seems racked with pain in lines such as “We will find fortune and fame…we've only got ourselves to blame.” But if A&R types can't see the humanity, humour and hit-making potential of a band this good, then the blames lies at their doors only.

Artic Monkeys have no such problems however. Evidently their two-minute smash and grabs must contain something spectacular, but I honestly couldn't describe their sound without using the words 'fashionable'or 'very now'. In no way are they offensively bad, but the band are climbing Everest levels of expectation when most groups at their stage are still learning to walk, and it's already a long way down to fall. This matters not to those who put the A&R in arseholes however, and young bands will always willingly wander up to the lofty staircases of success, only to be inevitably kicked down to the bottom again when not enough people understand the 'buzz'.

Clearly there must be a special sixth sense from those who can separate the “Andrew W.K.” and “Terris” from the rest of the cattle-market, so I shall leave it to them to continue with a band who are clearly the best thing since sliced-five-minute-ago. (Or alternatively, check out the real deal here.) The circus will no doubt roll into a sell-out venue near you soon, but will the faces around you be there out of love or lust? When music 'fans' are dictated by fashion rags into entering arranged marriages with the hottest new bucks in town, is there any wonder that some of us might want a messy divorce and returning of all our dignity? After all, even we think they're massive cocks no one can force us into giving blow jobs to the hottest new bucks in town - no matter or how attractive the style councils make them seem.