The Libertines – The Libertines – Review

The Libertines

(Rough Trade)
by Tim Den

If you believed in Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you will believe in The Libertines. If you believe that playing a “fucking around, 20 minute ‘jazz’ jam” is “hip,” “artistic,” and worth the money your fans paid to see you, you will believe in The Libertines. If you believe anti-establishment heroes are built in one day through self-glorified, overblown senses of “yyyyyeeeaaaah man, doing drugs is cooool and totally rock ‘n’ roll!,” you will believe in The Libertines. But most importantly, if you’re an art school drop out who’s drug damaged and on an eternal search for the outer fringes of cred, you will jerk yourself blind over The Libertines. Because this band embodies all that and more: They are the epitome of what’s wrong with the music business, the music press, and the mentality of ignorant hipsters more concerned with image and swagger than performance and craft.

The Libertines are a bunch of fucking squatters who can’t write songs, can’t play the shitty songs they write, can’t get their lives together for more than two seconds without pissing their pants, and who are being applauded for being exactly who they are: A bunch of losers. Why? Cuz apparently being losers is what every band should strive to be, judging by the shitstorm of press these guys have received since day one. Not how hard you work, not how much you toil over songcraft, not honesty, not insight, not integrity: Just “do drugs, be a meathead, and pass it off as ‘art.'” Hell, if the world (and especially the “journalists”) are buying it, who’s ever gonna call you on your shit, right? So go ahead, fuck off as much as you can, cuz that’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby! Dump aural diarrhea all over us, we love it!

The Smiths had Morrissey’s one-of-a-kind voice and Marr’s playing. The Clash had the lyrics and an amalgamation of genres. The Sex Pistols had Rotten’s acerbic wit. But in the 21st century, we’re willing to settle for less. A lot less.