The Libertines

I Get Along

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A boon for U.S. Libertines fans who haven't sprung for their U.K. singles, the domestically released I Get Along EP collects the title track, some B-sides from their previous singles, and the new single "Don't Look Back into the Sun." "I Get Along" is one of the most straightforwardly rock songs from the band's great debut album, Up the Bracket; it's fun and energetic, but doesn't quite capture the impact of their sweet melodies and rough delivery the way the album's best songs do. "Don't Look Back into the Sun," however, is one of the band's best pop songs, subtler but just as catchy as their Up the Bracket work. It's a bittersweet song, and all the more so because at the time of its release, the band's co-founder, Pete Doherty, was no longer with the band, having skipped rehearsals and gigs, broken into bandmate Carl Barat's flat, and formed his own band, also named the Libertines (which he then changed to the more apt and less confusing Baby Shambles). This pugnacious eccentricity informs the rest of I Get Along's tracks, though; songs such as "Mayday," the B-side of the Libertines' first single, What a Waster, are sloppy and excited, revealing the drunken chaos from which the band evolved. "Skag & Bone Man" and "The Delaney," which come from the two parts of the Up the Bracket single, have lots of "yeah yeah yeah/no no no" choruses amidst the harmonies and cackling laughter. "Skag & Bone Man" sounds like an argument set to music; the song even stops for what sounds like a brief fistfight before dusting itself off and starting up again. This tension between Barat and Doherty and pop, punk, and garage is what made the Libertines an exciting band; whether or not Doherty eventually rejoins, I Get Along is a welcome artifact of his tumultuous time with them.

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