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Album Review

The What Became of the Likely Lads EP serves as a ramshackle, bittersweet footnote to the roller coaster saga of the Libertines. Nearly as self-reflexive as the band's second album was, the EP is bookended by two versions of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat's love/hate song to their friendship and camaraderie; in between are appropriately shambling — but somehow captivating — live tracks from their June 3, 2004, Brixton date, one of the last dates the band played with Doherty before his drug and legal problems made Barat decide that the Libertines had to go on (if only briefly) without Pete. The live versions of "Skag and Bone Man" and "Boys in the Band" are particularly electrifying, capturing the almost-falling-apart tension of the band's performances. Mick Jones' mix of "Don't Look Back Into the Sun" cements the EP's feeling of being a (mostly) fond farewell. Though the Libertines' goodbye release feels a little contrived, it's still pretty affecting — and shows, once again, how much of the band's art reflected their life, and vice versa.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Libertines joined the pop fray of 2002, competing with the likes of the Strokes, Hives, Vines, and Doves with their debut single, "What a Waster." The Bernard Butler-produced track entered the U.K.'s Top 40 in June, leaving NME to crown the Libertines as the best new band in Britain. The double-A-side song "I Get Along" earned Single of the Week on BBC Radio 1. The London-based band, who inked a deal with Rough Trade in December 2001, featured Carl Barât (guitar/vocals), Pete Doherty (guitar/vocals),...
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What Became of the Likely Lads - Single, The Libertines
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