Babyshambles

Shotter's Nation (Astralwerks)

Phases & Stages

Babyshambles

Shotter's Nation (Astralwerks)

Not even the Clash's Mick Jones, who hosted both Libertines albums into Britshod culthood, could salvage Babyshambles' gutter bound 2005 debut LP, Down in Albion. Free of his former band's birthplace, Pete Doherty now exacts revenge on Shotter's Nation, whose opening briar "Carry on up the Morning" rings instantly Libertine, as does the stumbling tempo and frontman's stutter-step lyricism on "Side of the Road." Rife with riff, Shotter's jangle-n-crank revs with "Delivery," which posts the album's title while piercing another Doherty melody "straight from the heart of misery." Curb-kicking vulnerability ("Unstookie Titled"), bass driven bluster ("French Dog Blues"), and the celebrity shuffle of guitarist Mick Withnall's hollow-body cabaret ("There She Goes") include not a single rotter among them. Folk surgeon Bert Jansch carves a stream of acoustic crystal upon which Doherty's sordid past washes up on closing farewell "Lost Art of Murder," the best shot on Shotter's Nation. Damon Albarn isn't Ray Davies yet.

***.5

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