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Punk / New Wave - Released June 5, 2011 | Cooking Vinyl

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
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Rock - Released February 28, 2003 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released August 20, 2001 | Domino Recording Co

General judgment holds the Buzzcocks' peerless singles, the definition of punk-pop at its finest, as the best expression of their work. However, while the singles showcased one particular side of the band, albums like the group's long-playing debut Another Music showcased the foursome's other influences, sometimes brilliantly. The big secret is Shelley's worship of Krautrock's obsessive focus on repetition and rhythm, which transforms what would be "simply" basic punk songs into at-times monstrous epics. The ghost of Can particular hovers even on some of the shorter songs -- unsurprising, given Shelley's worship of that band's guitarist Michael Karoli. "Moving Away From the Pulsebeat" is the best instance of this, with a rumbling Maher rhythm supporting some trancelike guitar lines. As for the sheer rush of pop craziness, Another Music is simply crammed with stellar examples. Lead-off track "Fast Cars" starts with the opening of Spiral Scratch's "Boredom"'s intentionally hilarious two-note solo intact, before ripping into a slightly bemusing critique of the objects in question. Most of the similar tracks on the album may be more distinct for their speed, but Shelley in particular always seems to sneak in at least one astonishing line per song, sometimes on his own and sometimes thanks to Devoto via older cowritten tunes redone for the record. One favorite standout: "All this slurping and sucking -- it's putting me off my food!" on "You Tear Me Up." Top all this off with any number of perfect moments -- the guitar work during the breaks on "Love Battery," the energizing yet nervous coda of "Fiction Romance," the soaring angst throughout "I Don't Mind" -- and Another Music flat out succeeds. ~ Ned Raggett
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 25, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released June 27, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Punk / New Wave - Released January 25, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released June 27, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Punk / New Wave - Released October 24, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released June 20, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 9, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released September 15, 1997 | Domino Recording Co

In the late '70s, the Ramones were the kings of punk-pop. But in England, that honor went to the Buzzcocks. Arguably British punk's equivalent of the Kinks, the Buzzcocks had plenty of hooks and infectious pop melodies to go with their snotty, snarling, in-your-face demeanor. For the most part, you won't find a heavy socio-political agenda on I Don't Mind the Buzzcocks, an 18-song collection that came out in 1999 and looked back on the band's influential 1978-79 output. What you will find on classics like "Oh, Shit," "Whatever Happened To?," "I Don't Know What to Do with My Life," "Just Lust," and "Something's Gone Wrong Again" is an infectious, reckless sense of fun. Although without a dull moment, I Don't Mind the Buzzcocks isn't the ideal Buzzcocks collection -- some of the band's essential recordings from the late '70s are missing, including the hysterically funny "Orgasm Addict." But even so, I Don't Mind the Buzzcocks is full of gems and paints an impressive picture of one of punk's most important bands. ~ Alex Henderson
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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Domino Recording Co

Rock - Released June 20, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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More musically accomplished, more obsessively self-questioning, and with equally energetic yet sometimes gloomy performances, Love Bites finds the Buzzcocks coming into their own. With Devoto and his influence now fully worked out of the band's system, Shelley is the clearly predominant voice, with the exception of Diggle's first lead vocal on an album track, the semi-acoustic, perversely sprightly "Love is Lies." Though the song received even further acclaim on Singles Going Steady, "Ever Fallen in Love," for many the band's signature song, appears here. With its note-perfect blend of romance gone wrong, a weirdly catchy, treated lead guitar line, and Shelley's wounded singing deserves its instant classic status, but it's only one of many highlights. The opening "Real World" is one of the band's strongest: a chunky, forceful yet crisp band performance leads into a strong Shelley lyric about unrequited love and life. "Nostalgia"'s strikingly mature, inventive lyrics about where one's life can lead, and the sometimes charging, sometimes quietly tense, heartbroken "Nothing Left" are two other standouts. The group's well-seasoned abilities, the members' increasing reach and Martin Rushent's excellent production make Love Bites shine. The Garvey/Maher rhythm section is especially fine; Maher's fills and similar small but significant touches take the music to an even higher level. His undisputed highlight is the terribly underrated concluding instrumental "Late for the Train." Originally done for a John Peel radio session and rerecorded with even more a dramatic sweep here, it gives the group's motorik/Krautrock new power. Not far behind it is "E.S.P.," a strong rock burn that only fades out at the end very slowly and subtly. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released June 10, 2003 | Domino Recording Co

Rock - Released June 27, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Hooking up with Neill King as producer for All Set was an amusing turn on the part of the Buzzcocks, given that King had engineered Dookie, the breakthrough album from open Buzzcocks worshippers Green Day. Apparently the group felt a little acknowledgement back was in order, even going so far as to record the album in that trio's stomping ground, Berkeley, CA. Far from trying to capture the MTV audience with a variation on "Basket Case," though, the quartet here sounds like -- the Buzzcocks, if again essentially the pop-friendlier side of the band. Opening song "Totally From the Heart" is actually one of the strongest numbers yet from the newer version of the band, with a great chorus and all-around soaring crunch. King definitely earns his pay with his producing and engineering work; things haven't sounded this crisp and clear for the band even since the late '70s. The Barber/Barker rhythm section has by now well settled in, with Barker in particular showing more individual flashes and flair than before. Shelley and Diggle throw in a couple of almost mainstream guitar solos along the way, but otherwise are as dedicated as always to the virtues of high-volume, brisk poppiness. Happily, hints of trying to breathe once again beyond the basic formula do crop up here and there. Hammond organ adds a nice extra touch here and there, as on the lower-key groove of "Hold Me Close," one of Shelley's tenderer love songs, while Diggle pulls off a rock-of-the-gods epic start for "Playing for Time." The concluding two numbers both have something to them in particular -- "Pariah" has a quirky rhythm crunch to it à la "Sixteen," while Diggle's "Back With You" starts off with an acoustic guitar and turns into a string-synth-swept declaration of love. Otherwise, it's generally effective business as usual. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released September 1, 2016 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released October 24, 2008 | Domino Recording Co

General judgment holds the Buzzcocks' peerless singles, the definition of punk-pop at its finest, as the best expression of their work. However, while the singles showcased one particular side of the band, albums like the group's long-playing debut Another Music showcased the foursome's other influences, sometimes brilliantly. The big secret is Shelley's worship of Krautrock's obsessive focus on repetition and rhythm, which transforms what would be "simply" basic punk songs into at-times monstrous epics. The ghost of Can particular hovers even on some of the shorter songs -- unsurprising, given Shelley's worship of that band's guitarist Michael Karoli. "Moving Away From the Pulsebeat" is the best instance of this, with a rumbling Maher rhythm supporting some trancelike guitar lines. As for the sheer rush of pop craziness, Another Music is simply crammed with stellar examples. Lead-off track "Fast Cars" starts with the opening of Spiral Scratch's "Boredom"'s intentionally hilarious two-note solo intact, before ripping into a slightly bemusing critique of the objects in question. Most of the similar tracks on the album may be more distinct for their speed, but Shelley in particular always seems to sneak in at least one astonishing line per song, sometimes on his own and sometimes thanks to Devoto via older cowritten tunes redone for the record. One favorite standout: "All this slurping and sucking -- it's putting me off my food!" on "You Tear Me Up." Top all this off with any number of perfect moments -- the guitar work during the breaks on "Love Battery," the energizing yet nervous coda of "Fiction Romance," the soaring angst throughout "I Don't Mind" -- and Another Music flat out succeeds. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released September 23, 1991 | Domino Recording Co

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Rock - Released June 27, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

An archival recording from a early-1979 concert in London, Entertaining Friends is a fine blast from the band's classic lineup. On one hand there's no immediate reason for its release; some of the group's most deathless songs aren't here (a slightly later show might have included the astonishing "I Believe," which would have been amazing to hear with John Maher kicking out the drumming jams live). Meanwhile, there are no particular rarities present, while the performances are generally fine and fierce without being revelatory. These are really all quibbles in the end, though; Entertaining Friends is an hour's worth of some of the best music of its era, with Shelley in beautifully worried voice and the group tackling things with nonstop energy. The final songs of the concert make for a collective nod to the past in ways, with three of the songs from the Shelley/Devoto era taking a bow, including "Orgasm Addict" and a wonderful "Breakdown." For all that the quicker, punchier pop numbers defined about the band in the public eye, it's great to hear some of the edgier, stranger numbers here taking a bow, such as the nervous wreck of "Fiction Romance," the stuttering chug of "Sixteen," and the quirky stop-start collapse of "Noise Annoys." The rampage of "Moving Away From the Pulsebeat" is another winner, a great showcase for John Maher in particular, but the whole band sets up an especially powerful Krautrock/punk mantra, especially toward the instrumental conclusion of the song. Shelley acts as general MC/raconteur for the evening, introducing the show as the equivalent to the Eurovision Song Awards and at times catching himself laughing during songs, while Diggle gets a lead turn with a strong run through of "Harmony in My Head." ~ Ned Raggett