BUZZCOCKS: Self-titled: CD

I am not ashamed to say that I have flat-out adored this band for going on two decades now. I am not ashamed to admit that I thought their last two albums were, to put it as politely as possible, wicked fuckin’ boring. I am also not ashamed to report that, if this album is any indication, they are well on the way to rectifying any missteps taken on the aforementioned last two albums. The songs here, while are still just shy the lofty heights of greatness they achieved from the Spiral Scratch through Trade Test Transmissions releases, are well constructed and catchy as hell. They’ve gone back to writing good pop-infused punk tunes, which is a welcome relief, and Diggle’s developed enough as a singer/songwriter to keep up with Shelley song-for-song. They were also nice enough to include a re-recording of “Lester Sands,” which originally appeared on one of their earliest bootlegs as “Drop In the Ocean.” Considering I physically winced as I put this on, terrified that one of my favorite bands was going to disappoint yet again, I am not ashamed to say that I really like the noise that’s coming from my speakers and that said noise is growing on me with each listen.

 –jimmy (Merge)