I’ve just spent about two solid days listening to the Buzzcocks’ forthcoming album, The Way, and I’ve got to tell you guys: wow. I don’t do a lot of straight-up reviews, but this album is worth it. It’ll be out this summer, supported by a nineteen-date tour, and let me assure you, you’re going to want this one.
It’s amazing to hear how these guys have matured as a band. The ‘old’ Buzzcocks are definitely still driving, musically-speaking (“It’s Not You,” “The Way”), but it isn’t just them you hear in the music; there’s The Stranglers, Gang of Four, Crispy Ambulance, The Jam. Some of the songs are almost mod-influenced (“In the Back”), as if The Lambrettas had joined them onstage for a song. Others harken back so well to the start of the Manchester punk era, with Martin-Hannett like soundspaces (“Virtually Real”) that he might as well have produced them himself. Some don’t belong to any one category, any one genre, but grab you by the ears right away anyway (“Chasing Rainbows Modern Times,” my personal favourite track on the album).
The entire album is gold and I could – though shan’t – go on for ages about each song, but the long and the short of it is that if you’ve ever liked the Buzzcocks, you’re going to want to keep an eye on The Way this summer. (And if you’re lucky enough to be able to get to one of the gigs? Do it.)