It’s been a hell of a ride for Libertines fans, wishing beyond hope that the band would settle there past problems, Pete would sort himself out, and him and Carl would reunite to steer the Albion back on course. Well it’s finally happened, and with it, The Libertines have even promised us a new album due in September. But before we start counting down the days till the new record, we already have our greedy little mitts on new single Gunga Din, which perhaps gives us a taste of what’s to come.
Starting off with a reggae feel which The Libs are no strangers to, it’s apparent this isn’t going to be an all out rock ‘n’ roller that some would’ve been expecting. Instead the gentle pace of the verses draws you in and reintroduces you to the band all over again. Pete starts off on vocals, seemingly discussing his addiction problems in the lyrics: ‘Got to find a vein, it’s always the same, and a drink to ease the panic and the suffering’. This then works into a chorus littered with analogies of taking the route back to top, fighting demons, and overcoming obstacles. Pete and Carl have always been known to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and this track is no different.
Carl picks up vocal duties on the second verse, and throws off a more cocky and vibrant vibe as he sings. His personality comes through much more than usual here, probably helped out by the honing of his talents with his solo work. The rawness of Carl’s vocals sounds like something that’s been building for a while, and come to a hedonistic high as he belts out ‘Oh fuck it, oh here I go again’.
The track grows on you, and feels like a childhood friend you haven’t seen for years; you’re a little unfamiliar at first, but before you know it you’re the best of friends again. The Libertines show us here why so many people were desperate for them to get back together – not just for the love of music, but also for what they bring out in each other.