Hats Off to the Buskers 1965/Columbia Music •••½Sound ••½
Entering the U.K. charts at No. 1 in January, this debut album by four Dundee lads, just seeing American release now, is a (gin and) tonic (make that a coupla beers) for those who mourn the loss of the Libertines. Which means there's plenty of raucousness in this rock. Kyle Falconer's accent may seem a world away - especially in the talking ska of "Skag Trendy" and the Scottish pig Latin of "Wasted Little DJs" - but his teen stories are both personal and universal, with "late-night shenanigans" (and not remembering them the next morning) a recurring theme. And though the View can make a great Clash, they're best when their punkish energy collides with pop hooks in "DJs," "Don't Tell Me," and "Superstar Tradesman." The sound is claustrophobic, with Falconer often buried. But there are times when pristine sonics are inappropriate, and this is one of them.