I'm having a hard time understanding the insane buzz surrounding these kids (I believe the lead is 19, thanks Rolling Stone). I like them, but their road to glory is mad redic. For instance, WPSIA,TWIN is the fastest-selling debut in British chart history, with sales of more than 360,000 copies during its first week on the charts (CBS News). And with chart success comes celebrity: two months after the album's release, lead vocalist Alex Turner was declared The Coolest Man On The Planet by NME magazine. Sure, I heard (on NPR of all places) all about how they built buzz for their first release by giving away mp3s, but tell me what "unknown" band isn't doing that? Free mp3s + catchy hooks + "honest lyrics" don't add up to tickets for their upcoming NYC show going for over $150 a piece! Should I mention again that their album was just released in Manhattan yesterday?
I still neither like nor dislike the music enough to advocate anything more than trying it yourself, but I do find it interesting that a band making relatively similar and not distinctively (to me) superior music to a whole passel of bands working the same lineage is generating a press buzz aimed at superstarring the band. Almost every review I've read compares the AMs to the same bands and mentions their Sheffield background, which means that reviewers around the world are hearing some superlative quality in the music of The AMs that elevates their music above those bands to which they're compared, but also means that the fact that the AMs come from an urban-poor economic background somehow more deeply authenticates their sound. My guess, and it's a guess only, is that the latter has more oomph, if for no other reason than it grants weight to the genre as a whole - it's not a bunch of upper-middle class college kids playing at angst and anger.