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Babyshambles - Sequel To The Prequel (Review)

Babyshambles, Sequel To The Prequel

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

EIGHT years after their 2005 debut Babyshambles re-assemble for the aptly named Sequel To The Prequel. Alas, lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Whereas everyone seemed to be raving first time around, the belated results here sound old and underwhelming.

And while Pete Doherty’s vocals remain distinct, they’re also one of the album’s weakest links, especially when descending into mumbles at several points.

The sonic mix of raggedy punk thrashes and ska elements also feels overdone and nothing new from past Babyshambles works… only rarely catching light on standout single Nothing Comes To Nothing (a track of rare ear-pleasing melody), or deviations from the formula.

Farmers Daughter, for instance, benefits from a darker sound and less urgency, combining indie and country elements to generally pleasing effect and emerging as a bittersweet ballad that recalls the band’s penchant for offsetting brighter moments with more violent shifts.

Fall From Grace also has a welcome country element attached… although Doherty’s vocals could do with a bit more life to them.

But on tracks like Maybelline and Seven Shades they seem to be on auto-pilot, while the ska heavy Dr No feels like a slice of self-indulgence that’s been way, way over-indulged.

Minefield, meanwhile, ends things on something of a downer note (despite some of the album’s most striking guitar work) and confirms the view that this is something of a disappointment after so long a wait. Some reunions are best left not arranged.

Download picks: Farmers Daughter, Nothing Comes To Nothing

Track listing:

  1. Fireman
  2. Nothing Comes To Nothing
  3. New Pair
  4. Farmer’s Daughter
  5. Fall From Grace
  6. Maybeline
  7. Sequel To The Prequel
  8. Dr. No
  9. Penguins
  10. Picture Me In A Hospital
  11. Seven Shades Of Nothing
  12. Minefield