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True Grit: More New Brit Rock

Ex-Libertine, current folk hero, and Kate Moss beau Pete Doherty takes a break from his two extracurricular activities — doing smack and talking smack — to form a new, somewhat less bombastic outfit. His band’s as-yet-untitled first album, produced by the Clash’s Mick Jones, is due late summer on Rough Trade. Expect it be preceded by several defensive “Don’t compare us to the Libertines” interviews. While clumsily spelled, “Killimangiro” sounds like a softer Libertines.

Several years after we Yanks started mucking about with that post-punk-funk sound, the Brits have finally decided to get up to speed. The Dead 60s’ self-titled debut (Sony) is about as Gang of Faux as you can get, with convulsive bass lines and bright guitar bursts. “Riot Radio” is a casbah-rocking salvo with an unshakeable chorus.

They’ve barely been around as long as the Paddingtons, but London’s Rakes, whose debut album Capture/Release (V2 import) has just been released, have already logged some impressive road-trip time, opening for Kaiser Chiefs, British Sea Power, and Bloc Party. And while they may sound a bit like every other band on this list, none has a title as good as “Work, Work, Work (Pub, Club, Sleep).” So there. Rubbery to-do list “Retreat!” is a good starting point.

More loosey-goosey and pop-oriented than their South London brethren, their mini-album, Taste (Hardsoul), is as adept with a down-and-dirty rave-up as it is with a ’70s AM-radio-inspired ballad. “Tightly Wound” updates its twangy hand-clap rock with a happy-go-lucky organ.
Hard Soul Records official website (Home of the Capes)