Buzzcocks - A Different Kind of Tension (Cover Artwork)


A Different Kind of Tension (1979)


An improvement on the previous album Love Bites, the songwriting is stronger and the band take some chances to change.

The great thing about this album is that it has no instrumentals; when the Buzzcocks use instrumentals, they tend to be overly long and nowhere near as enjoyable as the vocal tracks. This album also has a few songs with Diggle on lead vocal, including the top song "Sitting Round at Home." Diggle is a good vocalist in his own right and it makes for a nice change of pace from Shelley's high-pitched vocals.

The band has tried a few different tricks on this album to try and differentiate it from the previous efforts. The best example of this is the robotic voice on the title track; it's odd and very 80's but they manage to pull it off (think Styxx and the song "Mr. Roboto"). The final track "Radio Nine" is the sound of a radio tuning with snippets of previously released singles. "I Believe" is the seven-minute track embracing an expansive sound and featuring echoed vocals. The end result is a much more varied album than their previous two.

While the band is trying something new, there are enough tracks to satisfy those after songs similar to previous albums; for example, "Paradise" is a great opener to the album, fast paced and catchy. "You Know You Can't Help It" and "I Don't Know What to Do with My Life" are also good examples of this. "Mad Mad Judy" begins in the same fashion, and the band then expands on the track, drawing it out.

I'd recommend picking up their first album Another Music in a Different Kitchen or the collection Singles Going Steady as the best introduction to this band, as you really can't go wrong with those. If you've heard those releases and want more, this is very worthy of picking up.

Standout tracks:

  • Paradise
  • Sitting Round at Home
  • I Believe