Unlike the bubblegum punk that the Buzzcocks had already perfected by the time they released the Ramones-like single "I Don't Mind" in April of 1978, guitarist and occasional songwriting contributor Steve Diggle appears interested in pushing the band's tried and true formula in some new directions with his self-penned flip side, "Autonomy." The track departs from the band's straight, full-speed-ahead rock, opening with a pulsing bass drum beat with chugging bass and guitar grinding in unison to a steady groove while guitars cascade down a descending tumble of chords. These instrumental breaks are alternated with sparsely worded verses, Diggle leaving the vocal duties to Pete Shelley, the group's usual vocalist and the foremost songwriter. The arrangement contracts to more straight-up verses of simple melodies, then shifting to a shuffling, tom-accented beat from the brilliant John Maher for the chorus where an effected guitar overdub chimes a catchy riff to Shelley's staggered chorus line -- "I...I want you/Autonomy" -- drawing out the title's four-syllable words for maximum melodic effect. The subject matter remains vague, the vocals existing merely to hang a melody on, allowing the band to showcase their musicianship and cohesive power as a unit. This is most apparent in a relatively long instrumental vamp-out, something the band would explore further on their upcoming full-length albums. The track certainly introduces Diggle as a songwriting presence in the group as he would go on to receive co-songwriting credit on the Buzzcocks' very next single, "Promises."