The Undertones

The Undertones

The Undertones

Before turning into a carefully defined genre, punk rock had its moments of pure raw inspiration. The Undertones, a quintet from Derry, Northern Ireland, were one of the most important groups that formed in the wake of the Sex Pistols, Clash and Buzzcocks, and with singer Feargal Sharkey leading the attack they produced a debut album for the ages. Released in 1979, The Undertones is one of the timeless classics of the era and it still sounds as ferocious today. “I Gotta Getta” is a chilling near-ballad that sets the stage for the masterful anthem “Teenage Kicks,” which may be the most desperate-sounding pop song of all-time. “Wrong Way,” “Girls Don’t Like It,” “Jump Boys” and “Here Comes the Summer” firmly establish the Undertones as a seriously underrated band. The joy and the angst cannot be matched. An entire generation of “emo” kids can use this as a primer. But Sharkey never flies the flag of surrender, even “Jimmy Jimmy,” a tune about suicide, keeps its head up and the beat striving forward. Beyond essential. Peerless and influential British DJ John Peel considered it one of his all-time favorite albums.

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