What Genre are the Arctic Monkeys?

The Arctic Monkeys’ music is classified as Indie rock, Indie pop, post-punk revival, garage rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, hard rock, and recently space pop and glam rock genres. They are an English rock band that was formed in 2002 and are considered to be one of the earliest bands that gained their popularity via the internet.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the genres the band has explored over the years.

Of course, many of The Arctic Monkey’s music spans multiple sub-genres. So keep that in mind as we explain some of the different genres their music covers below.

Indie Rock

Indie Rock is a genre that emerged in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1970s. Indie rock is known for having a careful balance of experimentation alongside varying musical approaches that may not be compatible with mainstream tastes.

Their debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” is filled with punk rock influences though the predominant sounds of Bass and hard Drums allow for a rush of narratives that beckons for repeated exposures.

Post-Punk Revival

Post-punk Revival is a sub-genre of indie rock that originated in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is a style of music that has influences ranging from traditional blues to grunge, with stripped-down and back-to-basics guitar rock being a common backbone.

The album “Favourite Worst Nightmare” fits a bit into the post-punk revival genre and has been described as being more ambitious and heavier than the previous album with how louder and faster the record is. The album has also taken influences from the band, The Smiths.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired by certain “perception-altering” substances.

On their Humbug album, the band utilized a wide variety of instruments they haven’t used before, with xylophones and shakers. The album’s overall tone is also more relaxed compared to their previous two albums.

Indie Pop

Indie Pop is both a music genre and a subculture that brings together Indie Rock and Pop music. It’s a slightly more mainstream genre but artists in this genre often like to distance themselves from the stereotypical pop star perception (and from their perspective, all of its negative connotations).

The album Suck It and See shows a departure for the band after the darker overtones of their previous album Humbug. Drummer Matt Helders said that they promised to deliver a more poppy and vintage sound compared to Humbug.

Blues Rock

The AM album has drawn inspiration from a wide array of genres, including indie rock, psychedelic rock, R&B, hip hop, and soul. Guitarist Jamie Cook also stated that The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was an inspiration for the album

The band took a different approach with recording AM compared to Suck It and See, with Lead Singer Alex Turner stating that it is more of a Studio Album. The emphasis on groove became the foundation of the songs on the record.

Psychedelic Pop

Psychedelic Pop uses elements such as trippy effects, tape manipulation, and even backward-recording are used to achieve melodic songs that invoke psychedelic themes.

After suffering from writer’s block following the success of AM, Turner dabbled with different styles and even instruments when creating the Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino album. This landed a new subdued and warm sound accompanied by unconventional chord progressions.


The Arctic Monkeys were able to play around with different genres and sub-genres and ultimately find success with most if not all of them. With Indie Rock as their foundation, they’ve been conquering the alternative and indie music landscape with their diverse catalog and individual style.

Featured Image by: Bill Ebbesen – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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