Happy Halloween from all of us here at LemonWire! To celebrate the holiday, enjoy this Arctic Monkeys’ song about vampires.
While most music websites will use Halloween as an excuse to shove the same handful of songs you’ve heard every year back down your throat again, that’s not our mission at LemonWire (even though I really wanted to listen to “Ghostbusters” today). Instead, for the past week, we’ve been trying to share as many non-traditional songs that fit the Halloween mood on their own merit, but for some reason are left out of Halloween playlists.
So far this week, we’ve looked at a good mix of songs that fit the above qualifiers. On Monday, we looked at The Rolling Stones’ classic, “Sympathy For The Devil”. Tuesday, we listened to MGMT’s frenetic “Flash Delirium”. And yesterday, we covered another classic with Jimi Hendrix’s “Dolly Dagger”. It’s been a fun season for music, but unfortunately, it’s coming to a close today.
But before we get into “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…”, let’s first take a look at the album it appeared on.
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
“Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” is the Arctic Monkeys’ debut album, released in 2006. In its first week, it became the fastest selling debut album in British music history, and remains so to this day. The album includes both songs featured on the Arctic Monkeys’ first EP, “Five Minutes With Arctic Monkeys”, as well as their first two singles.
The indie, garage, and post-punk revival rock that makes up an album whose compositional subject matter revolves around nightclubs, youth subcultures, and romantic relationships.
On the charts, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” performed well. It peaked at No. 1 on the UK albums chart, as well as for the UK and U.S. Independent Albums chart. On the U.S. Billboard 200, it peaked at No. 24.
Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…
“Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…” is not only an unusually titled song, but also a bit of an outlier on the album in terms of subject matter. While most songs on the album deal with the culture of nightclubbing in Northern England, “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…” instead deals with toxic friendships and differences in relating to the business of playing music for money.
The musical arrangement in this one is very punk-inspired, driven mostly by heavily distorted guitar riffs and biting lyrics. Only about half of the song contains lyrics, though, with the second half containing nothing but an adrenaline pumping, extended instrumental section.
Throughout the song, the lyrics point out the differences between the narrator and the ‘vampires’ he refers to. The first verse includes ways that the two differ on their approach.
“Well, I ain’t got no dollar signs in my eyes
That might be a surprise but it’s true
Said, I’m not like you
And I don’t want your advice or your praise
Or to move in the ways you do”
The main message of the song can be seen in the chorus. Here, we get more support that the song is based around the Arctic Monkeys’ music career. Either that, or it’s part of some larger concept about a fictional band. But I find that less likely than the former.
“‘Cause all you people are vampires
And all your stories are stale
And though you pretend to stand by us
I know you’re certain we’ll fail”
While it may not be a song that incorporates the spirit of Halloween as well as others, “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..” is a solid tune to jam to regardless of the season. The fact that it’s got vampires in it – and that it serves as a metaphor rather than just a song about blood sucking undead – is just icing on the cake.
Although come to think of it, it’d be kind of nice to hear more songs that were just straight up about fictional, fantastical beasts and monsters. We’ll be sure to be on the lookout for some to bring to you next week. If it’s out there, we’ll find it.
That about does it for our discussion today. I hope you enjoyed listening to the Arctic Monkeys’ “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…”. We’ll be back tomorrow and next week with more music to help you get through the week.