With the return of The Libertines about to become the big comeback of the year, guitarist Carl Barât hasn't let the legacy of his original band become his only claim to fame as he unveils the debut album of his latest side-project Carl Barât & The Jackals. Since the fizzling out of The Libertines in the middle of the last decade, Barât found himself in a number of guises, both as a solo artist and frontman of Dirty Pretty Things. Both of which never really strayed that far from the garage-rock sound of The Libertines and neither has his latest work with The Jackels.
Hand-picked by Carl Barât himself, The Jackals seem to be a facilitating band that allows the frontman to try and rekindle the same attitude as his former projects. The result is however a snarly and charmless shadow of his former self, backed up with Britpop-by-numbers songwriting that never seems to engage with the listener. 'Let It Reign' comes across as an album that wants to be something more than it actually is. It is a damp squib of a record that while trying desperately to be diverse and interesting, comes across as erratic and unsettled.
Sadly, it is a dated and unimaginative release that seems so swept up in the sound of yesteryear, it has forgotten how far British music has come since those indulgent and hedonistic days of The Libertines. Fans of Barât may find something to like about it, but it would few and far between in any case.