Flat-Pack Philosophy marks the fifth release from the Buzzcocks Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Tony Barber, and Phillip Barker. In true punk fashion, Flat-Pack Philosophy packs 14 songs into 36 minutes and in places sounds like the best bits of every classic Buzzcocks single carefully welded together. It continues the great Buzzcocks tradition of romantic metaphors and of Diggle's implicit literary references, and will certainly continue the ongoing success of this band. Cooking Vinyl. 2006.
Judged against the exceptional standards of the group's own catalog, this album is not so good. The Buzzcocks, after all, invented and perfected a very smartass, insanely catchy ideal of poppy, ultra-energetic punk rock and half your favorite bands have stolen from them liberally. But judged against other reunion records, it's definitely a fun album, and is easily their best post-breakup album. Steve Shelley's infamous high-pitched vocals sound more like a strange old geezer than a hyperactive kid, but that should not come as much of a surprise. Not surprisingly, the lyrics range from society to love. The songs are mostly mid-tempo, pleasant punk rock. You could do a lot worse, but they could do a lot better. --Mike McGonigal