I stumbled across my first Buzzcocks album when I was 17 and discovered a band causing an enormous shift in the way that music was being dealt to the public. It is fairly well understood that Buzzcocks were a huge part of the trend of self-releasing material without the help of a major label. And even though my first Buzzcocks recording was an IRS release, I cannot help but remember the new set of eyes it gave me for looking at the music industry as a whole. That album was Parts 1, 2, 3, and I still get a wicked pleasure every time it hits my turntable.
Thirty years after forming, there is an energy and simplicity to their performances and songwriting that has yet to fade. The group's earliest major influence came directly from the Sex Pistols, and while Buzzcocks' ability to make punk catchy is right in line with the bratty Pistols' style, most similarities end there. Buzzcocks made writing fast, short, sexually ambiguous songs a legitimate thing to do. And, near as I can tell, they're still doing it--with style.
Back and fine as ever, Buzzcocks are on tour supporting their latest release, Flat-Pack Philosophy. And really, for me at least, the most refreshing thing about this tour and this record is that they haven't created a Buzzcocks reality television program to huck their music to the rubes. They're still slugging it out with everyone else on an indie label, still giving the music industry the finger. And I can't think of Buzzcocks any other way: playing jangly, obtuse, British pop with their middle fingers in the air. This show is not to be missed. Not even on a school night.