Blur’s Damon Albarn Names Arctic Monkeys as the ‘Last Great Guitar Band’
For alt-rock music fans, it's safe to say that the 2010s were a little barren for guitar-centric acts making significant waves in the music world. That's not to say that there weren't any, but it wasn't as prevalent for acts to lean into guitar rock as much as they did in the '90s. And during a recent chat with the Broken Record podcast (as heard below), Blur frontman Damon Albarn addressed a bit of that changing of the guard musically in the alt-rock world, while noting what he felt was the "last great guitar band" to emerge.
"I feel like there's a little bit more excitement about guitar music again at the moment. That can't be a bad thing, because it got so sterile. For me, the last great guitar band would've been the Arctic Monkeys and I don't really know if there's anything as good since," stated Albarn (at about the 8:47 mark in the interview below).
The Arctic Monkeys certainly left an imprint in the alt-rock world over the last two decades, arriving with great acclaim in their native U.K. with the 2006 album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and really finding their rock guitar groove with the Humbug, Suck It and See and AM albums.
But, as stated, Albarn is a little more hopeful these days where guitar-centric alt-rock bands are concerned. “Now there are bands with a huge amount of potential. It’s really dismantled itself guitar music and put itself back together again in a different form. You’ve got some fantastic new mutations of the genius of it," he stated.
The singer then called out some of his newer favorites, stating, “I really like the band Wu-Lu, they seem to be really cool .... Then you’ve got bands like Yard Act here who seem to be getting better and better. Obviously, not that they're new, but I still see them as emerging are bands like Sleaford Mods, brilliant. There’s lots of great language being used again, not this generic rock shit – I hate that, I like poets and guitars. It's what always inspired me."
Blur, who were one of the great guitar-centric alt-rock bands of the '90s, are also back on the music scene after an eight-year layoff. The group is promoting the new album, The Ballad of Darren, that's due to arrive on July 21.