CD: The Libertines, Up the Bracket

(Rough Trade)

London foursome the Libertines are one of at least half a dozen bands to receive the music press's poison chalice of "the British answer to the Strokes", but their effervescent debut suggests they may outlive the bluster. Up the Bracket unexpectedly sees the band follow a British lineage of the Small Faces, Kinks, Smiths and Buzzcocks.

Mostly these tuneful songs occupy a cheery, bustling world of drinkers, smokers, pubs and "good-time girls", which makes the occasional left hook like, "Come up the hard way and they'll remind you every day, you're nothing", hit hard out of nowhere.

There are too many lesser-realised numbers for Up the Bracket to be a classic debut, but there is a fine band in here fighting to get out.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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