Babyshambles – Down in Albion

ARTIST: Babyshambles 220px-Downinalbion
TITLE: Down in Albion
SINGLES: Kilimangrio (#8 UK), Fuck Forever (#4 UK), Albion (#8 UK)
LINEUP: Peter Doherty, Patrick Walden, Adam Ficek, Drew McConnell
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Libertines frontman, more famous for being a drunken drugged out bastard than a musician, forms another band and it’s a bloody train wreck, mate.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Libertines were kind of exciting, especially in a time where it seemed everything was sterile and bland. That band could rip out tuneful chaotic rock anthems with the best of them, and soon they got really big in the UK and cult favorites here in the US.

The music press was all OVER Pete Doherty, though usually in a bad way. He was a total wreck when it came to the sex and drugs part of the holy rock-and-roll trio. It got SO bad that Doherty was actually put away for burglary and kicked out of the band twice for drug abuse. The press ate it up and in the US he was more famous for that, and his relationships with Kate Moss and Amy Winehouse, than anything else.

Undaunted, he formed Babyshambles, which is pretty much onomatopoeia. Their first album isn’t cohesive at all – not just song by song but within songs. Good rock puts you at the ragged edge and pulls you back. This band just puts you over the guardrail without much redeeming qualities. The guitar work is sloppy. Doherty is a loose cannon, and not in a pleasant way. The best songs sound like reheated Libertines. The worst are just shambling mounds of sound.

This was a hit, but it wasn’t good. Some songs are OK, but, on the whole, it’s really a chore to listen to.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Albion” was actually a Libertines song that Doherty appropriated for his band.


GRADE: C-: It’s kind of a disaster, much like Doherty. EXILED without a second thought.

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