Buzzcocks – Flat-pack Philosophy – CD
The Buzzcocks have been a punk rock institution for three decades now. Sure they took some time off here and there but it seems that even time off didn’t result in them losing it. They’d come back at will, tour the country playing nothing short of amazing sets and occasionally put out a new record that actually is worth buying instead of just opting to only listen to the old records. A few years ago they resurfaced and put out an enjoyable album, toured, and then went silent for a couple years.
Now they are back with a new album and a new tour and I’m happy to report that now a few years later, they still can deliver the goods in the new song department. If there is one thing that Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle have mastered in the past three decades is the ability to craft energetic pop punk songs with simple choruses that have such a good hook that you can’t help but get the songs stuck in your head. This new album is no different.
Aside from Shelley’s voice being perhaps an octave lower than on the early Buzzcocks records, not much has changed in the vocal and lyrics department, which is a blessing because there lies part of the Buzzcocks charm. The songs are still under three and a half minutes long and while still quite melodic, a few such as the title track have a bit more punch in the guitar department, resulting in a bit heavier sound without sacrificing the melodicism. Songs like “Wish I Never Loved You”, my personal favorite on the disc, even make use of some interesting guitar effects which is something I don’t recall them doing on the early records I grew up with. Its nice to see them be able to blend the formula of what made them so good in the past with some new techniques that keeps them from sounding dated.
There is fourteen songs on this disc. About 3/4 of them were written by Pete Shelley and the rest were by Steve Diggle. I personally prefer the Shelley composed ones, but in reality there isn’t a bad song on here. The songs rate from average to really catchy, so I can listen to the whole thing without wanting to skip songs, or when I’m in the mood there are my “go-to” songs that I just put on repeat because they’d get stuck in my head.
Its refreshing to see a band who has been around so long be able to still deliver the goods in the new music department. It is a rare thing indeed and I can’t wait to see them again and hear how these new tunes sound live, while being mixed in a set full of my long-time favorites.