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Shelley Devoto | Buzzkunst | review | alternative | punk | rock | Lollipop

Shelley Devoto

Buzzkunst (SpinArt)
by Lex Marburger

Well... That is to say, um... Buzzcocks founders Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto (Howie also coming from art-punk wunderkind Magazine), filtering their jaded punk-ness through '80s synths and other "new" technology. No wonder Shelley sounded so pissed off on the last Buzzcocks tour. They had a buncha new stuff no one was paying any attention to. But I have to say, it was for a pretty good reason. No, not just bad marketing. Shelleydevoto slap Pet Shop Boys, late-era Eno (too many vowels in that last phrase to do anyone any good), New Order, and Kraftwerk into a throwback synth-pop album called Buzzkunst that's actually pretty good, if you liked that kinda thing to start with. Me? I dunno, it's cool and all, and they don't drag any one song on for longer than it has to be, and they even punk it out at some points (and recalls Wire), but... I dunno. In the end, there's too much of that mid-to-late '80s vibe to Buzzkunst, and it seems to me that while referencing and building off a past style or sound is cool and useful, wallowing in it just ages everything touched by it. So thanks Shelleydevoto, but for now, I'll pass.
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