12.) The Libertines - Up the Bracket (2002)

(NOTE: I'm not re-telling the Pete Doherty story. You already know it)

Man, the motherfucking Libertines. Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse, huh? Shit. The Libertines have exactly one essential record. This is it. The first one. Up the Bracket. A blast of punk rock that rivals the best Clash records. In a lot of ways Up the Bracket was lightning in a bottle. The Libs were a band too unhinged to survive and in a way it's probably better they went away as quickly as they did. If they couldn't keep it together for a second record, what would a third have sounded like, or a fourth? Rumors of a reunion are always floating about, but I don't want it. The Libs were too perfect to exist forever.

The Libs were the real deal. Too fucked up to not write a perfect record, but ultimately too-oooooo fucked up to do it twice. In fact, the best moments on the record find Pete Doherty and Carl Barat slurry and legitimately fucked up in the recording. It's great. The Libertines make the Arctic Monkeys look like pussies - skinny jeans wearing posers. The Libs captured all their fury and youthful abandon and with the help of the Clash's Mick Jones behind the boards managed to create the greatest punk rock record of the decade.

If you haven't heard Up the Bracket then I suggest you do. Immediately. If you have then you know all this- the Libertines sound like spit and piss and punching and the gutter and nightclubs and dancing and broken bottles and disrespect for authority but respect for the night and drugs and cigarettes and booze and slurry speech and sex and living in the moment and disregard for consequences because what are consequences? In short, it sounds like youth. Pure and simple. But it's not immature - it was too off the cuff to be so. Up the Bracket is the kind of record that you fall head over heels for - it's a look into a world you wish you could see, but probably don't really want to be a part of (unless you do, which is fine to- I want to, well, I did).

Get Up the Bracket if you don't have it and do me a favor and play it fucking loud!

In their words -"I've been following up on my mind's instructions on how to slowly, sharply, screw myself to death."

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