Documenting The Battle of the British Buzz Bands

Who will prevail? The Arctic Monkeys or Art Brut? Only the chart knows

by Keri Carlson

W#include td {font-size:85%; border-TOP:1px solid; border-left:1px solid;} 1henever Americans are worried over the state of rock, or generally just bored with ourselves, we look toward the British for salvation. But because there can be only one true savior, which British buzz band – Arctic Monkeys or Art Brut – should we follow? Well fear not. The Daily has answered this question for you Ö with a chart!

Band: Arctic Monkeys
Album: “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not”
Band: Art Brut Album: “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”
SOUNDS LIKE A faster Franz Ferdinand and a less emo Panic! At the Disco, as well as a bunch of other bands the kids like these days
Points: +5
The Fall. Lead singer Eddie Argos has a snarl similar to Mark E. Smith.
Points: +10
BEST SONG “Fake Tales of San Francisco” – the most laid-back groove on the record. It’s just a good classic British rock song about a warped view of California.
Points: +7
“Formed A Band” – in the song Argos claims he wanted to write a song that “makes Israel and Palestine get along.” It’s obvious, though, he just wanted to be on “Top of the Pops.” But nonetheless, a good stab at world peace.
Points: +25
BEST LYRIC First line on the album: “Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment.” The Monkeys begin their own backlash before you’ve had a chance.
Points: +5
“I see a piece by Matisse, that’s my window of opportunity, I take five steps back, I put my head down, and I run at it!” This is real art punk.
Points: +15
WHY PEOPLE LIKE THEM They are young, cute and British, and their MySpace friends are pretty much the reason they landed at No. 1 on the U.K. pop charts.
Points: +2
Another buzz rock band.
Points: -5
WHY PEOPLE SHOULD ACTUALLY LIKE THEM Actually, you should just find them to be OK. The band sounds like a million other post-Strokes British bands. The hit song “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” is too jerky for anyone to dance to and still look attractive. Only people who cannot dance like this song.
Points: -20
The lyrics are cynical yet endearing, not to mention, pretty damn clever.
Points: +10
POTENTIAL ROCK STAR LEVEL High. They’ve got press, radio play and TV appearances and again, all those MySpace friends. The lads of Arctic Monkey seem pretty “awe-shucks” and innocent for now, but the album suggests hints of naughtiness. One of them could easily become the next Pete Doherty.
Points: +30
Low. Jokes about modern art and cries of “popular culture no longer applies to me,” do not seem likely to attract the masses. Plus Art Brut makes fun of rock stars instead of imitating them.
Points: -30
IRONY LEVEL Medium. The band is wary or their instant success and tries to bite, or at least, nibble on the hand that feeds them singing, “You pretend to stand by us; I know you’re certain we’ll fail.” But this seems more like an attempt to prove their authenticity to their music.
Points: +3
Very high. They hate on the Velvet Underground and their name, Art Brut, implies art made by the mentally ill.
Points: +12
Points: -30
Yes. In fact, they shoot it dead in the title track “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” and declare, “No more songs about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll; it’s boring.” True, true!
Points: +30
Which would mean Art Brut is the winner; unfortunately, though, since the group has murdered rock ‘n’ roll, they are disqualified.

No one wins.