The Libertines – Anthems for Doomed Youth

The libertines anthems forAbout fifteen years ago in the UK The Libertines were big. Very big. Thought of alongside the big rock bands of the time like the Strokes and Oasis. Then poof…nothing. Then big drug user Pete Doherty dragged the band down into a deep well of disfunction. Now they are back at it with their first album in eleven years. Back with that grungy, garage band sound and lyrics that reference the hard times they have gone through as a band or personally. It is all rather glorious. The sound is rather diverse over the seventeen (!) tracks. Their magic is that they seem (even in their music) always on the verge of collapse. It is raw and it is real. Very real. It is only true talent that can make songs sound disorderly at the same time as they are rather polished. Tight wire stuff. Are they together for good or are they going to break up again? Will Doherty and fellow frontman Carl Barat going to launch into a punch up? Tension has always created great art, I have thought and there is plenty of that here. And they are not scared of it. They feed off of it. There are moments in several songs that seem almost cathartic for the band members. If they don’t record another album (it’s possible) they have ended on a high note courtesy of songs like “Belly of the Beast”, “Glasgow Coma Scale Blues” and “Dead for Love”.

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