The Libertines

By Brian Hiatt
June 06, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

THE BUZZ Disheveled, dissolute London retro-punks. Think the Strokes with thicker accents and less musical discipline. THE HYPE ”The sound of Britpop meets Baudelaire,” raved New Musical Express, which named the Libertines best new band of 2002. THE IMPACT Clash guitarist Mick Jones produced their debut album, 2002’s Up the Bracket. They’re in talks for a U.S. major-label deal. THE VERDICT Marred by sloppy arrangements and too-familiar melodies, the band’s lurchingly uneven debut fails to fulfill the promise of ear-snagging singles like ”What a Waster.” — BH [Grade: thumb halfway up]