The likelihood of the Libertines pulling off a storming return seemed slim, but .
So did the chances of their getting into a studio to record it in the first place though, and for the first five songs of Anthems…, I was starting to believe they might have only gone and done it. It might have been a bit Libs-by-numbers, but it felt great to have them back.
Trouble is, someone appears to have told them that after 11 years away, their comeback album needed to be 16 tracks and an hour long. That person has a lot to answer for because had the likes of Belly of the Beast, Iceman, Fury of Chonburi, Love on the Dole and Bucket Shop been excised from the track list, we may well have been left with the return we’d all dreamed of.
The Stonesy Glasgow Coma Scale Blues revisits Can’t Stand Me Now territory, Dead for Love is a wonderfully elegiac tribute to a late friend, and the lyrics are outstanding throughout (“the only thing that kept us apart was your cold unloving heart” is my current favourite).
Verdict? Thumbs up. Just.
Like this? Try these: The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street; Sleaford Mods, Key Markets
By Andrew Greenhalgh