By - Jun 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Jeremy Saperstein

Most often, career resumptions are bad. They’re vents to quicken the rise of “I can’t believe I used to like these guys” bile in the back of your throat, full of lackluster performances and tired songwriting as a bunch of can’t-grow-up dudes hit the state fair circuit in search of one more payday.

Yeah, that’s usually the case, all right. But someone forgot to explain that to punk-rock legends The Buzzcocks. The only thing lacking here is the youthful bravado/ignorance present on records like Singles Going Steady (released — get ready — nigh unto three decades ago), an absence that is more than made up with increased volume, crunchier chops and smoother production.

Songwriting is, as ever, split between original members Pete Shelley’s erudite wordsmithery and Steve Diggle’s anthems. Original ‘Cock Howard Devoto (most recently seen in 24 Hour Party People even assists Shelley with a song or two.

It’s hopeful that most of Pearl Jam’s fan base will realize the debt they owe to the Buzzcocks when they open for Seattle’s other grunge band at Alpine Valley on June 21st, but if you don’t feel like finding out, the ‘Cocks play a free gig as headliners in Madison on the 18th, and at Chicago’s Metro on the 20th.

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