See You in the Next Life (Substandard)
by Scott Hefflon
Funny, I was gonna pan this fucker as a “I sing like Rancid” knock-off ignorable piece of shit, but it’s really grown on me. While the bio touts Libertine as stylized NY rock’n’roll, a modern take on ’70s punk meets glam/Brit-pop and all sorts of other complete uselessness (not that there aren’t hints of such things, but every crap band claims big influences and still sucks), Libertine actually have gorgeous moments that transcend flimsy genre restrictions and qualify simply as fuckin’ rock. While it’s sometimes tough to get past that dumbed-down sounding Rancid droop (why would anyone wanna imitate the duh-sounding style of someone who doesn’t enunciate his words?), Libertine has glimpses of D Generation, Gen X and The Clash. So unlike the leagues of poppy punk that sounds pretty interchangeable, even to those who listen to it all the time, these guys at least borrow from different people. And they know how to write a song with a driving beat, a catchy chorus that doesn’t reek of radio pop singledom, and throw in some strolling riffs like The Cult without making you wanna puke. Thick and meaty-sounding, while this might not be the record to make them fuckin’ rock stars, it shows they have the potential and the chops to get there.