BUZZCOCKS: Self-titled: CD

I’m confused. For twenty-five years, thousands of punk kids have tried to sing like the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, and now Pete Shelley sings like Carol fucking Channing. It makes no sense. Listening to this new Buzzcocks album is akin to being in a public toilet stall and realizing that the guy in the stall next to you is both shitting and talking on his cell phone – in both cases, it’s not exactly the end of civilization as we know it, but it’s definitely the sign of a culture on the decline. So I conducted an experiment. I really did this. I made my wife sit down in front of my stereo. I played the Buzzcocks’ amazing song, “Fast Cars.” Then, I said, “Out of the next two songs I play, pick which one is the new Buzzcocks.” First, I played the first song off of this new Buzzcocks album. My wife said, “That’s not the Buzzcocks, and make it stop.” Then, I played “Live Alone” by the FM Knives. My wife said, “That’s gotta be the new Buzzcocks. It’s awesome.” We listened to the rest of that FM Knives album. Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I tried this test with Razorcake reviewer Toby Tober. The results were so similar it was scary. So the results are in: if you want to hear a new Buzzcocks album, buy the FM Knives (who, incidentally, are from Sacramento and have nothing to do with the Buzzcocks). But, for sake of all that was once holy about the Buzzcocks, don’t spend your money on this one.

 –sean (Merge)