The Libertines are back with their fantastic, long-awaited fourth studio album ‘All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade’, nine years after their last album ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’.  The album is an expansive mix of raw intimate songs chained to fast, punk, indie-sounding anthems. A real return to form after nine years. Truly there is no song on this album that I would skip, which is proof enough of their triumphant return. The examples mentioned are just to convey what’s in store for any willing listeners and I fully encourage you to listen to all eleven tracks.

The record gives the feel of their early 2000s work with the message of the band wanting to keep moving on from that. Carl and Pete’s voices and songwriting are still glorious and just as youthful, it’s a real pleasure to listen and let the sounds and feelings unfold in front of you. This album demonstrates that they’re capable of such a broad range of emotions and sounds, from slower, delicate songs like ‘Baron’s Claw’ and ‘Man with The Melody’, to fast-paced, in-your-face, blatant, energetic tunes like ‘Oh Shit’ or ‘Run Run Run’.

The album’s lead single and opening track ‘Run Run Run’ gives a great impression of what’s in store if you delve in. The song is a head-bopping punk anthem about how the band doesn’t want to relive what they were and have gone through, trying to escape this rut they were in. Setting a tone of they are doing something different and exciting, whilst also feeling quintessentially Libertines. The track itself is an anthem with that catchy well-sung chorus “Run run run, boy faster than the past”, the punk energy from the distorted guitars and fast-in-your-face pace, mega guitar riffs, the positive message for the listener to keep moving just like the band is now doing and the very 2000s yet timeless feeling the track gives off. The same formula is used on track six, ‘Oh shit’. My favourite track from the album due to everything just mentioned that was fantastic about ‘Run Run Run’ plus that iconic guitar riff in their classic song ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’ slowed down. Reused so perfectly, I call that genius and for me makes this song an instant classic for fans, new or old.

On the other side of this phenomenal record are the fragile and delicate, acoustic songs encapsulated from a place of rich emotions, songwriting and sounding. The emotional song ‘Man with The Melody’ is one of those tracks, this sombre song is written in a place of turmoil and struggle, but he seems to cope with all that by creating melodies and songs to keep going, written intrinsically about the band proving that they’ve moved on from where they used to be. The instrumentation is perfect for the song and what it’s conveying, that solo acoustic guitar playing beautiful soft notes, the string orchestra adding those rich emotive layers for the listeners, and the quiet choir from the band occasionally is beautiful. On top of those personal and raw lyrics sung creates melancholy and you can feel his personal struggle and this may remind you of your own struggles and battles. Everyone’s got their own melody and won’t be caught.

The album’s final track ‘Songs You Don’t Hear On The Radio’ is another one of those great emotive songs, it begins with the bass and drumsticks setting the rhythm for the singer and it just takes off from there. The slower melodic tune allows for a reminiscent and reflective atmosphere on pacts and the way that things used to be. As the song progresses, layers are added, creating a rich musical tapestry. The backing vocals add depth to the tune. The song concludes with a sense of merriment, with the band clearly enjoying themselves again. It is truly a great and honest tune, showcasing their fantastic talent that has never wavered.

All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade’ is a heavenly return for The Libertines, proving that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the indie music scene. Fans old and new will surely be delighted with this long-awaited release, solidifying The Libertines’ place as one of the most influential bands of their generation.

The Libertines: All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade – Out 5th April 2024 (EMI Records)

Libertines – Run Run Run (