'Spiral Scratch' is one of the few 'punk' (very loose term that could mean MC5, Suicide, Sex Pistols,Minor Threat, Black Flag or even the amusing derivations like Green Day and (snigger)Sum41) records that require to be owned...This was the first release as Buzzcocks- and their last with Howard Devoto, who would go onto front the excellent Magazine. It was Produced by Martin'Zero'Hannett, the late studio mind behind key records by U2, New Order, Happy Mondays- and, of course, Joy Division...The sleeve features lots of nice pictures of Buzzcocks # 1...'Breakdown' (3rd take No dubs) is up first, a manic meltdown with that pop hook Shelley would apply to later Buzzcocks classics like 'What do I get' & 'Fast Cars'...'Time's Up' (1st take. Guitar dub) is next and is the longest song here- the interplay between Devoto & Shelley is beyond classic- this is a moment up there with Wire's '12XU' or 'I am the Fly'. Elastica obviously heard this and creamed themselves into oblivion. Devoto is excellent, sounding like Tarantella Serpentine backed by the lowest of lo-fi. 'Boredom' (1st take Guitar dub) is the centre of the e.p.- "I'm living in a movie/but,er it doesn't move me"- Devoto living in a straight line. Never has existenial ennui been so appealing. 'Billy Liar' reads 'Nausea', Bresson films 'Coronation St'. Devoto gets bored of boredom, reducing it to "b'dum/b'dum"...'Friends of Mine' (1st take Guitar dub) sounds as dark as early Warsaw: 'Walked in Line', 'Ice Age', 'The Kill' and is a precursor for songs like 'Recoil' & 'Because you're Frightened' by Magazine...This e.p. is great, if you can't get the recent Grey Area reissue- get this: ten minutes of music history. "b'dum/b'dum"!!!!!
Not just a CD-single, but the Buzzcocks first release containing the masterpieces Time's Up, Breakdown, and the seminal Boredom. Boredom is the only track with a guitar solo - and it's one of the greatest guitar solos in the history of rock music, consisting of two notes repeated. Got to be heard. Who would guess that Diggle and Shelley would soon become brilliant guitarists. Singer Devoto left the band after this EP, but both the Buzzcocks and Devoto went on to even greater things. This EP is often cited as the first viable independent release, thus starting the indie industry. Pure genius.
If you are expecting a chart song or "pop" song then do not listen to this e.p. This is grass root level rock / punk whatever you want it to be . It is HISTORY in the making and the sheer class and delivery of the lyrics is only appreciated by a true buzzkunst !