'Up the Bracket'
Rough Trade, 2002
Before he became famous for all the wrong reasons, Pete Doherty led the Libertines to gutter-punk glory on the band's 2002 debut. Produced by Mick Jones of the Clash, Up the Bracket (the title was British slang for a punch in the throat) was a blur of slurred harmonies, budget-guitar grime and songs that always seemed like they might disintegrate or careen off the tracks. It could have been a mess, but thanks to Doherty and Carl Barat's giant stash of swishy, Kinksian hooks, the album was as off-handedly tuneful as it was trashy – music that felt like a slightly dodgy, ultimately thrilling night on the town.