Album review

The Libertines : Up The Bracket
Rough Trade

The Libertines : Up The BracketAfter holding my breath for so long it was a bit of an anticlimax to find out that the new rock'n'roll was in fact rock'n'roll. Didn't see that one coming.
    So what we've got is the dazed swagger of The Strokes, the primitive dischord of The White Stripes, the revived desert rock of Queens Of The Stone Age and the repackaged gonzoid rock of The Datsuns. The latest bunch of desperados having a 'the' at the start of their name are The Libertines. This lot aren't an import though, they're from good old Blighty . . .

The Libertines sound like a budget Strokes - that's not meant as an insult, if anything I think it's the band's intention. They also know their history, as you can hear everyone from The Kinks to Suede in these songs. Perhaps mentioning the latter is a bad idea though, as the controversial Bernard Butler-produced single What A Waster is missing - most suspicious.
    The stripped down clatter of Vertigo is a good way to start, and it's glorified pub rock, but The Libertines never claimed to be doing anything else.
    Horrorshow is more of the same, but even more raggedly played, and with a bizzarely nonsensical chorus: ". . . It's a horrorshow come on round, a horrorshow the horse is brown, oh oh oh oh oh left something in Moscow." Yes. One of the album's highlights though, cause its infectious enthusiasm compensates for any lyrical shortcomings.
    The title track you should know, and it's a great tune, as is closer - and What's A Waster's companion - I Get Along. A strong finish to a strong and entertaining debut.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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