The Undertones
The Undertones


4.5
superb

Review

by Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (38 Reviews)
May 29th, 2011 | 31 replies | 5,468 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Here come The Undertones!

If you have to credit the punk movement in the seventies for one thing, it's that it caused a welcome return of interest to the 3-minute pop song. The early seventies' music charts were dominated by the musical dinosaurs that were Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Yes and so many others, who apparently couldn't write a song if it wasn't over 9 minutes long. But all that changed when the Ramones entered the scene in '76. In their wake, a whole new type of bands, who weren't very technical in their guitar playing, arose to the scene and songs could again be short and have catchy choruses. One of these bands was The Undertones and their debut album came out in May 1979 (and already re-released in October of the same year, to include the successful singles Teenage Kicks and Get Over You).

The Undertones scored big time with their first single Teenage Kicks, a punk anthem if there ever was one. It was fast, loud, had a massive sing-a-long chorus and most of all: it was fun. Instead of criticizing the politics, society or whatever - as most punk bands did those days - the song described the joys of teenage love and wanting to hold the hand of a pretty girl, how sweet. The following singles Get Over You and Jimmy Jimmy were equally as fun and fast, and The Undertones had found their niche. So a debut album was recorded and released in May 1979.

Here we have that very same debut album, and it must be said: the album has aged very well. These are very simple, 4 chord punk tracks, but executed with so much enthusiasm, you cannot help but smile all the way through. Not much variation in arrangements is to be found here (obviously), but as the album finishes around 30 minutes of playing time, let's not consider that a negative factor. That said, there is some form of rudimentary experimentation or sound evolution from the first singles present: the synthesizer is introduced in a couple of tracks, most notably on the best song of the album Here Comes The Summer. It's cheesy as hell, but at least it doesn't sound gimmicky, as opposed to the saxophone on the debut of X-Ray Spex.

As stated previously, the lyrics aren't very smart or sophisticated, but who cares anyway. The choruses will get stuck in your head for days, together with the doo-doo-doos of the backing vocals (Wrong Way, Listening In). The voices of the band members (like The Beatles, each member sings on different songs) are clean and poppy, but still have bit of roughness in them, perfectly fitting the music.

All in all, The Undertones released a timeless and near-perfect pop album, which should be heard by as many people as possible. It will brighten up your day anytime (at least a little bit) with its naive teenage enthusiasm.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2011



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

As this is my first review, any comments are welcome.

Also the CD-release of this is insane, with its amount of bonus tracks.

Digging: Sully - Blue

illmitch
May 29th 2011



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

teenage kicks is one of the best songs ever recorded

pretty good review a little conversational so you might want to make it less like you're chatting with
the reader and more giving a presentation, but it was good

Kris.
May 29th 2011



12109 Comments


dsounds like i need this

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2011



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

pretty good review a little conversational so you might want to make it less like you're chatting with
the reader and more giving a presentation, but it was good


Thank you. I'll keep that in mind, but I'm afraid that's kind of typical for my writing style...
But thanks for the comment!

dsounds like i need this


Yes, you do ;)

dimsim3478
May 30th 2011



4708 Comments


Undertones, LOL.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

LepreCon
May 30th 2011



3562 Comments


Undertones ruled, LOL

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2011



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ruled


Yeah, too bad their more recent stuff isn't that good anymore...

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2011



7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album needed a review

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2011



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thought so too, I hope the end result is somewhat decent? ;)

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2011



7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's pretty good for a first, I'll second what Illmitch said about keeping away from conversational reviews. You'll get better the more you do.

LepreCon
May 30th 2011



3562 Comments


Never listened beyond their second album and Fergal's solo stuff was just laughable from what I heard of that, but the first two Undertones albums are boss

Blackbelt54
May 30th 2011



4268 Comments


been meaning to check this out, it looks really good

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2011



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

TIME TO DISCOVER
WHAT FUN IS ABOUT

HERE COMES THE SUMMER

WhiteNoise
April 17th 2012



3037 Comments


Album is awesome...

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

KILL
September 3rd 2012



70284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rockin

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

KILL
October 29th 2013



70284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what else can you dooooooo

KILL
November 30th 2013



70284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

anyone else rockin? heck even andcas?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2013



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Long time since I've spun this.

Next time we'll have to better
I GOTTA GETTA

KILL
December 1st 2013



70284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yea

DrHouseSchuldiner
December 1st 2013



5643 Comments


I prefer punk rock to pop punk by faaaaaaaar but im gonna check this cuz kill approves



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