Buzzcocks: Buzzcocks

The Buzzcocks: (self titled)

Buzzcocks: Buzzcocks
Label: Merge
Release Date: 2003
Review Date: 2003

The Buzzcocks have just released their 7th studio album. It’s on Merge Records out of North Carolina, which I’d never heard of before, but Randy assures me it’s a pretty well known indy label. I’m a Buzzcocks fanatic, I’ll admit. They were the first band I ever saw live (Love Bites tour, October 1978) and I have seen them around 10 times. Anyways, believe me when I tell you that this is their most focused work since “Another Music in a Different Kitchen”. Is it better than “Love Bites” and “A Different Kind of Tension”? That’s a tough one, because after 20 years those albums have reached a legendary status that might not be warranted. I always thought that the 2nd side of “Love Bites” was weak, and “ADKOT” was just all over the place. Brilliant, but all over the place.

The Buzzcocks new CD (simply entitled Buzzcocks) is a tight collection of 12 punk-pop classics. The energy and songwriting is top notch throughout. No electronic fiddling or experimentation here, just the Buzzcocks doing what they do best, and doing it very well. Standout songs? Funnily enough, my 2 favorite songs are the 2 that were cowritten by original Buzzcocks vocalist Howard Devoto: the Buzzkunst song “Stars” and the reworked “Lester Sands”, a song that was one of the Buzzcocks earliest creations and that appeared on the seminal bootleg “Time’s Up”. For some reason those 2 songs have more of an edge to them, a sense of tension. It is disturbing to hear Pete singing “Lester Sands” though. I am so used to hearing Devoto singing those words. That isn’t to say that the other songs aren’t good: quite the contrary. In fact, even the Steve Diggle penned songs hold up well. If there was any justice in this world the ‘Cocks would sell a million copies of this album, and dolts like Scum 41 would go back from whence they came. It won’t happen though, and maybe just as well…

Online Action: buzzcocks.com
Online Action: mergerecords.com

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