It took a lot for the Libertines to get to a place where they could make their recent comeback album, Anthems for Doomed Youth. After frontman Pete Doherty’s string of in-and-out rehab stints, his fragile relationship with bandmate Carl Barât and the band’s 2004 breakup, a follow-up to their eponymous sophomore effort never seemed like a sure thing. Now, a new video for Anthems’ “Heart of the Matter” turns its focus outward and suggests that we, as observers, may have enjoyed the human suffering-as-spectacle all along.

The Roger Sargent-directed clip finds Doherty and Barât torturing victims as a paid-for performance for engrossed onlookers. The twist? The Libertines leaders are actually torturing themselves. The video closes with Doherty delivering a fourth wall-breaking look at the camera.

Sargent offered this statement on the new video:

The Libertines have never been a band to lack candour or bravery… almost to a fault. Their honesty, their friendship, has played out in the public domain often with catastrophic consequences. In “Heart Of The Matter”, Peter and Carl reflectively talk about the damage and abuse they have caused themselves over the years, openly mystified that they have survived thus far. It’s a catharsis, a bleak, bold and brave one. To that end, when we talked about making the video for the song we all felt it had to be similarly honest. The unsettling subjects could not be shied away from. On the contrary, these had to be faced head on.

The Libertines returned with Anthems for Doomed Youth earlier this month. Previously, the quartet said they’re all on board to record a follow-up to their latest and third full-length “as soon as possible.”

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