The Buzzcock’s legendary 1976 demos, now known as Time’s Up and originally only available as bootlegs, capture all the shambling, deadpan and violent joys of punk’s first wave. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s first EP, Domino are bringing these joys back to heavyweight vinyl LP (with download code) and CD.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 08 March 2017
The original Buzzcocks were a much darker prospect than the chirpy camp popsters that came later. The band at this point was a fronted by the dome headed Howard Devoto later of Magazine etc and his art punk persona is a far cry from little Pete Shelley’s tuneful whinny. Tracks like ’Breakdown’ however were original punk classics and this is included on side one alongside other soon-to-be-legendary rattling rackets such as ‘Orgasm Addict’ and ‘Boredom’ all taken from the legendary Spiral Scratch EP (also re-issued this month). Flip over to side two and you get a bunch of lesser known tracks previously only available as a bootleg. These are further grimy recordings with low end fuzzy guitars and Devoto’s snotty vocals which set the blueprint for the type of delivery Pete Shelley would later take to the top of the hit parade. Interestingly a cap is doffed to original art terrorist and avant blues genius Captain Beefheart on the churning cover of his ‘I Love You Big Dummy’.
This is one of those records that for me is more interesting as a historical document than a listening experience. I prefer what Buzzcocks became later on but this shows their roots all soily and dirty and is essential for fans of the origins of punk.
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