Buzzcocks

Sitting 'Round at Home

Song Review by

Determined to make an impact as a songwriting force on the Buzzcocks' third album, A Different Kind of Tension, guitarist Steve Diggle offers up this wildly divergent track that swings between chunky hard rock and speedy punk thrash. As if in an attempt to jolt himself (and the world) from the apathetic inaction of a television zombie culture, the song moves from a slow-chugging hard rock groove that would feel at home on the boogie rock records of ZZ Top, to an all-out punk rock blitz. Diggle admits to falling victim to the numbing sensory overload of TV viewing, while admonishing the stifling bland and safe content the medium provides, as he sings in a distorted telephone voice, "I watch the news at one/I do it everyday/They always find someone/To take my mind away/It's a family show/Ten part serial/Something for everyone/Tea on end of part one" to a throbbing single chord. The end of each verse gives way to a furious-paced instrumental section, the tempo suddenly quadrupling in a 20-second burst before the band turns on a dime returning to the original tempo with impressive precision, drummer John Maher showcasing his considerable chops with powerful and blazing quick fills. The track alternates between these extremes throughout the song's brief two-and-a-half-minute run, with Diggle repeating, "Sitting round at home/Sitting round at home/watching the pictures go" before exploding into the final vamp out with crying lead guitars and Diggle exclaiming, "I'm sitting!/I'm sitting!" -- his voice increasingly drenched in echo effects. But perhaps the most striking thing about "Sitting Round at Home" is the ability of a band so closely associated with the English punk scene to so convincingly mimic the sound of '70s hard rock and combine it with the driving speed of punk's then-emerging subgenre that would eventually be known as hardcore.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
A Different Kind of Tension 1979 Nettwerk America / Nettwerk 2:41
Product 1989 EMI 2:40
A Different Kind of Tension/Parts 1, 2, 3 1993 I.R.S. Records 2:39
5 Album Set 1994 Parlophone / Warner Music 2:40