Sound — 10
Up the Bracket is a modern day classic in British music, on par with classics such as Sgt Peppers and London Calling. The band have been described as Post Punk revival and burst onto the scene in the early '00s along with other bands such as the Strokes and gained notoriety with the chemistry and tension between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty. Their sound recalls the Strokes as well as the Clash but they definetly have a sound of their own. It's hectic and passionate but never sloppy. The twin guitars of Barat and Doherty are very raw to say the least, John Hassall, the bass player plays well and actually does a lot for the overall sound by remaining in the background amid the chaos. Gary Powell is one of the most impressive drummers I've ever heard personally, and shines throughout the whole album, with fills and beats that would be a nightmare for a normal drummer.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, Up the Bracket defines gritty London's indie scene, as it was then and is now. The chemistry between frontmen Barat and Doherty is unlike any songwriting partnership in modern music with Carl's punk attitude and Pete's rich romanticism. The songs that stand out lyrically are Death on the Stairs, Time for Heroes (regarded as Doherty's best lyrics to date), Up the Bracket and the Good Old Days. Their styles complement one another as well as the way they're sung. Barat has a suave, almost swaggering style whereas Doherty slurs with passion.
Overall Impression — 10
This is, personally one of my favourite albums of all time, having listened to it to an almost unhealthy level. Other albums just don't compare in terms of construction and conviction. Mick Jones produced, some say basically mic'ed the instruments and pressed record, but it gives the album it's raw energy that would have been lost in over-production. The songs most worth mentioning are Up the Bracket, the Good Old Days and What a Waster but the whole album has a definite flow and an unyeilding impact that I've never heard in an album before or since. It's a great album by a legendary band that dissolved quicker than it was formed, leaving a lasting impact not seen since the Sex Pistols. Their influence is still seen in indie bands today and will be for many years to come.