This is the seventh full-length from 70s punk-pop pioneers. These new tracks grab you from the get go and don't let go. The Buzzcocks are one of the few bands who, after over 25 years, can lay claim to being legends, while remaining timeless and relevant. New "punks" like Green Day, Blink 182, Offspring, and Sum 41 are indebted to them.
If the term "punk-rock veterans" often seems like a troubling oxymoron, the Buzzcocks have found a way to neatly sidestep any qualms about their status as one of the Class of 77's most influential band of dino punks: Simply remove yourself from the constraints of time frame. But if sticking to their roots and original vision has worked surprisingly well in a live context since their 1989 reformation, their oft-unfocused '90s studio albums usually didn't reflect their strengths. Gratifyingly, this chapter of their unlikely career resurgence finally seems to have put all the pieces back together. Informed by taut pop-punk song structures, tough, driving performances, and the return of band co-founder Howard DeVoto to the fold (if only as co-writer with mainstay Pete Shelley
on the tough "Stars" and blistering "Lester Sands"), the cocks have arguably turned out an album worthy of comparison to their late '70s prime. And if the subject matter here concedes they're not lads anymore, the performances belie it with potent doses of the band's original hooks-and-snot spirit. --Jerry McCulley