Carl Barât And The Jackals: Let It Reign

Libertines reunion interrupted by what Barât did next.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Carl Barât lacks Pete Doherty’s charisma, supermodel ex and penchant for public self-destruction. The Libertines’ early idealism, though, is safe with him.

The Albion, the mythic ship the pair once imagined sailing to glory, has been pockmarked by past defeats. But Barât’s new, Facebook-recruited band The Jackals can still fire fusillades of glam-ska guitar, while his latest scrappy anthems reference the likes of Blake, and Orwellian alcohol (Victory Gin is named after 1984’s sinister tipple).

Let It Rain’s 60s chamber pop and March Of The Idle’s Stones harmonica add variety. Beginning To See’s anti-religion lyrics even find one aspect of Christianity Barât can’t help but love: ‘I don’t mind people changing water into wine/I do that all the time.’

The familiar tumbledown energy recalls an English Replacements, with a spirit that’s amateur and desperately hedonistic. It’s rock’n’roll for ageing urchins who don’t know how to quit./o:p

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).