MUSIC REVIEW | The Buzzcocks – Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978)

True pioneers in the world of punk rock, The Buzzcocks might not have quite the notoriety or layman recognition as their contemporaries The Sex Pistols, but I’d say their reputation is a little more enduring to anyone who has even the smallest interest in the genre. While the Pistols were basically a manufactured boy band whose songs were little more than a nuisance to get in the way of their posing, The Buzzcocks seem more like a an actual band of actual musicians who’s music came first. What am I basing this on? Mainly on wild conjecture, ill informed opinion and not much else. But that seems fitting when talking about 70s punk rock.

Like The Ramones, their equivalent across the pond, opening songs Fast Cars and No Reply show a Buzzcocks reliance on simple chants, a four-four machine gun approach to rhythm, and as little vocal range as possible. It’s a beautifully simplicity approach that works because it’s so beautifully simplistic.

You Tear Me Up is much more progressive, much more in the vein of what LA punk bands would be pumping out in the decade to follow. It’s still basic four-four, but there’s a swing to it, a variation in melody, a little extra that something that adds layers the earlier songs juts didn’t have. Followed by the even more adventurous Get On Our Own, it shows more musical ambition than I ever expected from Another Music in a Different Kitchen.

Pete Shelley has a slight nasal wine to his vocals, but not in the same way that Johnny Rotten brought to The Sex Pistols. While Rotten was all put on, disgruntled brattiness, Shelley sounds at times legitimately pissed off, legitimately sincere, and legitimately confused. The sentiment may change, but the legitimacy never seems to falter.

The guitars of Shelley and Steve Diggle perfectly nail that one-two-three-four Ramones vibe again and again. But more than that, they also find times to be a little more complex and a little more experimental. The staccato picking on a song like Autonomy give it a fresh edge, when it so easily could have been a lot more straight forward and uninteresting.

In case I’ve been a little too subtle so far, I’ll say it plainly now. I don’t like The Sex Pistols. As a punk rock fan, I’ve always found it aggravating that they hold such a notorious and mainstream place in the genre’s history. They just seem so fake to me. It’s even more depressing and aggravating when I listen to an album like Another Music in a Different Kitchen and realise how much that spot should be filled by bands like The Buzzcocks instead.

The Buzzcocks

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