Monkees vs. Monkeys: Antic, Arctic!
Twin bands of different eras? I just couldn't resist putting them together in the same barrelful . . .
From the Monkees, we have double-disc reissues of two 1967 albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (both Rhino). This follows earlier reissues of The Monkees and More of the Monkees. Rhino does its usual thorough job on each, including both the mono and stereo mixes as well as tons of bonus tracks and a nice fat booklet packed with discographical information, rare photos, and an essay.
From Arctic Monkeys, we have their current album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino/Warner Bros.). I meant to cover this in the print mag, then on the Web site proper, but . . . but . . . time's up! Anyway, I did want to let you know that this is a solid record - even if it can't recapture the first-time thrill of its predecessor, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The sound is better here, though, with rawer guitars and deeper bass and drums. And joined by new bassist Nick O'Malley, the band is especially deft, precise, and powerful now, coming across nearly like the Attractions of 1978. There are devastating riffs galore, and the album closes with a nicely building noir thing called "505" that, maybe, points to expanded horizons. Which the wordy Alex Turner and his mates may do well pursuing if they don't want to release albums that merely seem to give us More of the Monkeys. -Ken Richardson