Artist – Album: The Libertines – Up the Bracket
Released: 14th October 2002
Sounds Like: The Jam, The Clash, The Strokes – ‘The’ bands generally...
“What a waster, what a fucking waster, you pissed it all up the wall…”
So begins ‘What a Waster’, the Libertines first single and Up the Bracket bonus track. Given the subsequent trajectory that frontman Pete Doherty’s life has taken, it’s hard not to view it as aimed squarely at himself.
For a while there the Libertines seemed to have it all: Britain’s answer to the Strokes, they kickstarted a rock scene that was flagging under the weight of dozens of piano bands and Coldplay imitators. In Carl Barât and Doherty they had two poster boys that were the polar opposite of Chris Martin, living the rock and roll lifestyle but with sufficient chops and smarts to pen genuinely great songs. Their debut album contains two of the best tracks of the 00’s in ‘Time for Heroes’ and ‘Up the Bracket’ (and ‘What a Waster’ completes the trio of stunning singles), and the supporting cast of ‘Vertigo’, ‘Horrorshow’, ‘Boys in the Band’ and ‘Begging’ aren’t half bad either. Combining elements of rock, punk, pop, even dub, the band were catchy and witty and cool, and Doherty had a knack for delivering poetic, stinging swipes at British culture – “There are fewer more distressing sights than that, of an Englishman in a baseball cap”.
Although they were spared the overwhelming hype that could’ve torpedoed the equally talented Arctic Monkeys, the album still enjoyed blanket critical acclaim and was picked up upon by the great and the good as one of the best albums of 2002, eventually paving the way for the equally impressive UK #1 album The Libertines in 2004.
Then, they pissed it all up the wall.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Vertigo – 2:37
2. Death on the Stairs – 3:24
3. Horrorshow – 2:34
4. Time for Heroes – 2:40
5. Boys in the Band – 3:42
6. Radio America – 3:44
7. Up the Bracket – 2:40
8. Tell the King – 3:22
9. The Boy Looked at Johnny – 2:38
10. Begging – 3:20
11. The Good Old Days – 2:59
12. I Get Along – 2:51
Listen to ‘Time for Heroes’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMZsqDZM8Ic
Also released on 14th October:
1977: David Bowie - Heroes