BUZZCOCKS: FLAT-PACK PHILOSOPHY (2006)
1) Flat-Pack Philosophy; 2) Wish I Never Loved You; 3) Sell You Everything; 4) Reconciliation; 5) I Don't Exist; 6) Soul Survivor; 7) God, What Have I Done; 8) Credit; 9) Big Brother Wheels; 10) Dreamin'; 11) Sound Of A Gun; 12) Look At You Now; 13) I've Had Enough; 14) Between Heaven And Hell.
Can't we just say that this is another late period Buzzcocks album and leave it at that? Please? I'm not even stating that it sucks or anything — it probably sounds as good as it can possibly sound, given Diggle's and Shelley's self-imposed limitations. I just can't think of anything interesting to say. Okay, let's try ramble-scramble mode for a bit, see where it gets us:
— ʽCreditʼ begins with an automated voice system instructing you to spend your virtual financial resources in the correct manner, and soon transforms into an old geezer's rant about "videophones with all the latest ringtones" that cause a "pile of debts" for nothing, because "wish I could get something I really need". Well thanks, guys, for warning us about the 2008 crisis and all two years in advance. Who knows, maybe if you had made the underlying melody more interesting, people would take heed and all trouble might have been avoided... nah;
— ʽSound Of A Gunʼ: hey, this is one song I really like and would not, in fact, mind taking home with me. The riff's only advantage is one single chord change, but it makes a big nasty difference, and I am not sure I've ever heard it before, simple as it is. It's probably about gun violence, or it takes gun violence as a metaphor for other kinds of violence, or it takes other kinds of violence as a metaphor for non-violence, whatever. The point is, it's short, it's tough, it's nasty, it's catchy, I wish there were more songs here like this one, but life's a bitch;
— ʽBetween Heaven And Hellʼ: ends the album with atmospheric electronic noises (apparently, they hold regular synthesizer sales in limbo, to make time pass quicker) and a moody vocal harmony session where the title is being bounced around from lower to higher harmonies. This way, nobody can say that Flat-Pack Philosophy has no art-pop elements, and the Buzzcocks become eligible for The Beach Boy Hall Of Fame and The Brian Eno Hall Of Fame at the same time. If only for a few seconds, that is.
Then there are eleven other songs on the album, but fuck 'em. They all sound the same anyway. My biggest problem, however? I still have no idea what «flat-pack philosophy» is supposed to mean, even after re-reading the lyrics to the title track several times. If it's a hint that modern era Buzzcocks music is assembled from pre-packaged pieces, I'm in. But somehow I doubt that.