Pretty Green

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Covers of Arctic Monkeys Songs

I am not attending Coachella this year, but I’ve been skimming the reports about how the performances are going. I came across a blog post mentioning band MS MR covering the Arctic Monkeys song “Do I Wanna Know?” I’ve never heard of this band, but naturally I wanted to see if they could pull it off. That led me on an investigation (read: a few minutes tinkering around on YouTube) into other musicians who try to pull off what only Alex Turner can. My findings: there’s good, there’s bad, and there’s ugly.

First, the good.

I’m going to admit that I maybe kind of like Chvrches. The lead singer has a pretty voice and… they’re Scottish. I had high hopes for their cover of “Do I Wanna Know?” (popular choice, I guess), thinking they might be able to put an interesting synth-pop twist on the song. When I listened to this version, however, I found it bland. The beat is pleasant but the pull-through was a bit detached. Still, in the world of AM covers out there, this is the only one I could find that vaguely qualifies as good.


Now, the bad.

That MS MR cover I mentioned is pretty damn bad. This band is from New York but for some reason the lead singer pronounces “say” as “zay” and it is just too obvious to ignore. The music isn’t all that bad, but I just can’t take the uber hipster vibe and zzzzzaying going on.

This cover of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by Aussies Jagwar Ma is kind of laughably bad. Part of me appreciates the acid trip thing they are going for, but man those vocals hurt. They end up sounding like a cheap college cover band, and I can’t even comment on what they are wearing.


And, the ugly.

Miley Cyrus covering Arctic Monkeys? I was offended enough when she covered Gorillaz, but stay away from my beloved AM. She chose the most fitting song for herself, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” but the results are ridiculous. She over-sexualizes the song, groping herself throughout, and literally screams out the lyrics at the end. I do not recommend watching, but if you’re so inclined, here’s the clip.