Entertainment Weekly - 5/24/96, pp.98-99
"...the Buzzcocks sustain their renowned tight play, but the trip-hammer intensity that marked their seminal recordings now sounds less like a cry for revolution than a call for seconds." - Rating: B
Melody Maker - 6/29/96, p.49
"...keeps faith with the most accessible aspects of the style that made them so crucial at the end of the Seventies: maddeningly infectious pop melodies, fierce guitar fizz, and words full of the urgent, present ache of lust and/or loneliness..."
Musician - 10/96, p.88
"A new Buzzcocks album is never a bad thing....12 catchy punk-pop songs that pack a decided wallop, most of them revolving around love or the lack of it. Pete Shelley's lyrics can still jab you..."
RIP (8/96, p.72) - 3 (out of 5)
- "...Like Iggy Pop, the Buzzcocks prove that the original article can usually, even after years, still out-do all the imitators."
Buzzcocks: Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle (vocals, guitar); Tony Barber (guitar, bass); Phil Barker (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Neill King (piano); Jim Push (keyboards).
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California.
Personnel: Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle (vocals, guitar); Tony Barber (guitar); Neill King (piano, keyboards); Jim Push (keyboards); Phil Barker (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Neill King .
Recording information: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA.
The three years between the Buzzcocks' 1993 reunion album, TRADE TEST TRANSMISSIONS, and 1996's ALL SET saw punk break into the mainstream; the presence of Green Day engineer Neill King at the production dials may have been an acknowledgement of the groups' shared musical lineage, but ALL SET is still pure latter-day Buzzcocks, from the full-blown guitar solo on "Give It to Me" to the power ballad (of sorts) "Hold Me Close" to Steve Diggle's "Back with You," a string-soaked lyrical reflection on his renewed collaboration with Pete Shelley. The Buzzcocks can still rock, as they do convincingly on album opener "Totally from the Heart," but ALL SET works more as a statement of maturation than as a recapturing of youth.