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Top Customer Reviews
A complete box set ("Product") appeared in 1989, and in the early 90's the band regrouped for a tour. 1993 saw Shelley and Diggle (with new rhythm section (Phil Barker and Tony Barber) release "Trade Test Transmission", which remarkably picked up right where the band left off in 1980. 1996's "All Set" was also amazingly strong. In an unlikely turn of events, Toyota chose "What Do I Get" for a TV commercial campaign in 2000.
Which leads us to the album at hand, "Modern". I wonder why they chose this title...the last thing I want the Buzzcocks to sound is modern! The album is infused with too many synthesizers and drum machines to sound like classic Buzzcocks, and is spotty through the first six tracks. Then the album abruptly rights itself with "Runaround" and "Doesn't Mean Anything" and doesn't falter again.
If you are new to the band, search out one of the early compilations such as "Operator's Manual". If you were a fan of the early Buzzcocks and have been leery of the 90's version start with "Trade Test Transmission". "Modern" shows the band maturing somewhat, but considering that most of the band's charm was its immaturity, that isn't necessarily a plus.
All that said, this album is far better than you'd have any reason to expect of a 70's punk band that has decided to keep on plugging.
Plus, it rocks! Full marks to bassist and producer Tony Barber for giving the band's sound the clean, tight bottom end and airy mids and highs that 1993's Trade Test Transmissions approached but didn't quite achieve.
Finally, contrary to what seems to be the critical consensus about the Buzzcocks' 1990s output, I feel 1996's All Set was the low point, with some of Shelley's corniest and least imaginative lyrics and a muddy, shallow sound. Modern is a great rebound, and deserves a whole lot more respect (and more sales!) than it has garnered.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are some of the best hook-heavy songs Pete and Steve have ever written under the Buzzcocks mantle! Read morePublished on December 15, 2008 by The Illusion of certainty
See romanticism pinging your brain like a red hot marble.
Universal message of love's anguish and really LOUD guitars. Read more
This ranks right up there with the Blondie reunion CD as completely unnecessary. Why? These guys are RELICS. And I wouldn't care if the music was great (i.e. Read morePublished on June 10, 2000 by punkviper