Review: Dirty Pretty Things, Waterloo To Anywhere

The album's tunes explode in an artful cacophony of buzz saw guitars, shout-along choruses, and startlingly precise lyrics.

Dirty Pretty Things, Waterloo To AnywherePete who? It isn’t long into Dirty Pretty Things’ astonishingly great debut Waterloo To Anywhere that you start questioning whether Pete Doherty is being oversold as a musical genius. Carl Barat, a fellow ex-Libertine, has made an album that blows away Doherty side-project Baby Shambles’ abysmal Down In Albion. Punchy, ragged, and frenetic, Waterloo To Anywhere surges forward, not-so-subtly aping The Strokes, The Clash, and The Ramones as well as delivering that precise buzz that can only be felt by the young, drunk, and excited; the highest compliment I can pay Barat and company is that it seemed as though this record was one of the best Friday nights I ever had. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it doesn’t hurt a great rock song either. Few of the tunes here clock in at more than three minutes and change, exploding in an artful cacophony of buzz saw guitars, shout-along choruses, and startlingly precise lyrics. Understandably, echoes of The Libertines reverberate through more than one cut here; tinges of faux-reggae color vivid tracks such as “The Gentry Cove,” while the panicked paranoia of “Gin & Milk” and “Blood Thirsty Bastards” contrasts the gotta-be-Doherty-inspired “Doctors & Dealers.” More than once, Barat’s inspiration seems heavily drawn from dealing with the fallout of befriending Britain’s most notorious junkie.

 Label: Interscope  Release Date: August 8, 2006  Buy: Amazon

Preston Jones

Preston Jones is a Dallas-based writer who spent a decade as the pop music critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His writing has also appeared in the New York Observer, The Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and other publications.

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