Published Feb 13, 2015Carl Barât's & the Jackals' debut may be overshadowed by news that the Libertines have their first new album in 11 years in the works, with an expected release date later this year. The Libertines' standard is a tough one to meet, but Barat does admirably here; the best songs on Let It Reign prove Barat still has that rough and tumble vigour in him, an irresistible combo of jaunty riffs and fierce delivery of lyrics with a disenchanted attitude and charming British accent.
"Victory Gin" is like suave Sleeper but beefed up with choppy chords and horns, while the guitar on the verses in "Ware of the Roses" recall Blur's Modern Life is Rubbish. The confident "Summer in the Trenches" has a frenetic pace, as does the Ramones-y "The Gears," while "Glory Days" features a Clash-inspired riff.
It's the slower, more "mature" tracks that disappoint here. "A Storm is Coming" feels like a middle of the road mainstream radio track, as does the title track, a non-descript Oasis-esque yawner. Still there's plenty to like on Let It Reign for Libertines fans missing that garage rock sound. (Cooking Vinyl)