Libertine, the third record from indie titans Silkworm, remains as riveting and peerless today as it did on its release 20 years ago. Its tangled guitars and plainspoken vocals feel more like narratives than rock songs, slim, moving short stories capturing odd, specific moments in time in rich, poetic language — journal entries and excerpts of lives in progress, presented with only hints at the surrounding details. The songs obey their own internal logic: guitars scramble and scrape, the bass lurches and collapses, the drums quiver and quake. Two decades later, it still sounds like little before or since: defiantly raw and unadorned, Libertine is indie rock verite. You enter its world according to its own rules, inside the parameters it has set. And once you do, you get lost inside it.
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