The Libertines–Glasgow Coma Scales Blues

If last week was about what band members do after a breakup, this week is about what the band as a whole does: they get back together.  Most reunions are sad affairs that painfully telegraph a group’s age.  Every once in a while you get something worth waiting for.  When The Libertines reunited, the assumption was that they’d just rerecord a bunch of unreleased tracks from old sessions and call it a day.  Luckily, they also added a good chunk of new tracks to the mix, some of which are unbelievably able to capture the group’s old glory.  Songs like Glasgow Coma Scale Blues capitalize on Carl and Pete’s penchant for autohagiography, while still sounding fresh and exciting.  Opening with jagged, squealing guitar, they’re trading off lines from the very start.  Their dialogue creates the same beautiful tension as in the old days, before they launch into the end of a verse together: the only thing that kept us apart was your cold unloving heart.  You can feel them singing straight at each other, the love and the hate both still present, like an updated version of all-time classic Can’t Stand Me Now.  Chainsaw guitar breaks in again, keeping the song arresting and unpredictable.  It’s a shockingly lively addition to The Libs’ oeuvre: a joyous sing-along, a happy reunion and a blazing rock song.

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