Legendary punk rockers the Buzzcocks have signed to Merge Records and will release a self-titled studio album March 18 via the label. It's the first studio set for the band, which comprises guitarists

Legendary punk rockers the Buzzcocks have signed to Merge Records and will release a self-titled studio album March 18 via the label. It's the first studio set for the band, which comprises guitarists/vocalists Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, bassist Tony Barber, and drummer Philip Barker, since 1999's "Modern" (Go Kart). The band will tour North America in the spring.

Original Buzzcock Howard Devoto (who founded the band in 1975 but exited after the Buzzcocks' 1977 debut EP "Spiral Scratch") collaborated with Shelley on two songs on the new set: "Lester Sands" and "Stars." A spokesperson was unsure if Devoto had any further involvement with the album.

Before the North American dates, the Buzzcocks are pondering a two-week Australian tour tentatively set to begin Jan. 31, according to the band's official Web site. The site also reports EMI U.K. is compiling a "comprehensive CD-single box set for release sometime next year."

In September, the Buzzcocks joined fellow veteran punk outfits the Sex Pistols, X, and Circle Jerks at Los Angeles radio station KROQ's Inland Invasion, rattling off 14 tunes in a 35-minute set.

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