The Arctic Monkeys' brew is an inviting one, built on the traditional guitar muscle of the best northern English indie rock. Even the notoriously cranky Noel Gallagher once favorably compared the band to his own group, Oasis, in the pages of NME. But where Oasis and the like reveled in a sort of beer-soaked near-hooliganism, the Arctic Monkeys have always gone for a more pure, less dangerous sonic joy. It's one that's undercut by English wit and more than a hint of moodiness, though. Its breakout 2005 crossover single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," was a rousing indie dance favorite, but its lyrics seemed to mock the song's hipster queen as much as they praised her. It's a light-dark duality the band has further explored on subsequent albums, most markedly on last year's Humbug. "At the time, I had been listening to a lot of Pink Floyd and Nick Cave," says bassist Nick O'Malley. "But for the next one, we're talking about doing something fast all the way through. We always wanted to do that and were going to for the last one — but then we didn't want to leave the slow songs out!"
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