The Buzzcocks emerged from the mid/late 70's British punk scene, when the genre was still new and there weren't many bands to compare them to. But even back then, the Buzzcocks really managed to stand out, at least in their native UK. They eschewed the nihilistic rage, political fervor, spiky hair, and ripped jeans of their contemporaries for a cleaner and (arguably) more sophisticated approach. Pete Shelley and co. wrote innocent, infectious, witty, and cheeky pop songs about love, yearning, and teenage angst, setting them to the barbed wire guitars and manic rhythms typical of other punk rock bands. Although they weren't the first pop-punk band (that honor goes to the Ramones, whom the Buzzcocks acknowledge as an influence), they were undoubtedly one of the best. Unlike the Ramones, who are an amazing band in their own right, the Buzzcocks had bigger melodies, sartorial sophistication, and an air-tight rhythm section courtesy of bassist Garvey and drummer Maher.
Another Music....is their 1978 debut LP, often considered their best work alongside Singles Going Steady (a singles and b-sides compilation). This CD re-release also contains some of their best singles: Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get?, What Ever Happened To...?, and track #10 on Singles Going Steady (name withheld due to Amazon policy), in addition to some demos and live recordings. As for the album itself, my favorites are the exuberant "Get On Our Own", the proto D-beat "You Tear Me Up", and the deathlessly catchy "I Don't Mind". "Fiction Romance" has a really nice 60's pop hook, which I think would have made for a great single, and songs like "Fast Cars", "No Reply", and "I Need" are wheelbarrows of fun.
So why the 4 star rating? Because personally, I tend to prefer Singles Going Steady and the criminally underrated Love Bites over this. The latter doesn't have AMDK's oceans of energy and manic drumming, but more than makes up for it with its utterly fantastic songwriting, and contains many of the best songs they've ever put out. Also, this album does have a couple of tracks I could do without ("Sixteen", "Moving Away From the Pulsebeat"). All that being said, this is still an essential record, and a worthy addition to anyone's punk collection.