Seventies punk quartet The Undertones are back this month with the release of a definitive greatest hits package titled True Confessions – Singles = A’s+B’s. With 33 years having passed since the band made headlines and placed Derry on the musical map with the release of the mammoth breakthrough single Teenage Kicks, this collection is a fantastic combination of the bands singles as well as a second disc containing the acts extensive b-side collection.
The Undertones had a very successful career that carried them through 1975 to 1983 and although the acts mainstream potential never really took off after their signature hit Teenage Kicks, the band became popular nonetheless and developed quite a cult following which stand boldly by the quartets side to this day and has been enough to bring the band out of hiding once again over recent years, albeit minus former front man and voice behind the band, Feargal Sharkey.
With the band maintaining a staple status in the seventies new wave scene this latest collection boasts some hefty numbers that symbolize an act that churned out a number of musics most notable.
Teenage Kicks, a John Peel favorite and track that has been covered by many fellow Undertones fans including Ash, Snow Patrol, Skunk Anansie and KT Tunstall to name a few, though no one does quite a job with the classic as The Undertones, is the selling point here. Its meaty guitar slinging and the bands former front man Feargal Sharkey spitting out angst laden vocals makes for a nostalgic listen with an appeal to all music fans regardless of genre preference.
Here Comes The Summer has a perfect feel for the season ahead and is still as fresh in my opinion as when the track first saw daylight back in 1979.
Let’s Talk About Girls is a euphoric and hippie influenced monster with Sharkey’s wavering and vibrato heavy vocals laced flawlessly around the bands classic mosh pit anthem.
The hits don’t stop here as we are shown with the inclusion of My Perfect Cousin and Jimmy Jimmy, both of which lived a healthy life in the charts upon their release and have to this day become fan favorites and a couple of the songs that represent the band at their hey day best.
Hard Luck (Again) tends to be a little bit of a time waster here and I can’t really feel where the band ever tried to go with this one. Bouncing over a repetitive melody of guitars drums with the occasional ‘hey, hey, hey’ thrown in for filling the track seems to make the collections ending dip.
Disc two covers the bands B-side catalogue and although the tracks are less of an attraction with the featured disc one singles, the second bonus disc is a must have for any Undertones fan.
Though the bands existence was rather fleeting the band made a lasting impression in music with their brand of brash, angst fueled and rebellious punk pop ditties that have carried well throughout the years.
True Confessions – Singles = A’s+B’s, which consists of 32 tracks spanning the career of the punk heavy foursome, comes quite quickly after the bands best of release of 2010. Though the record covers much more and delves a little deeper into some of the acts lesser known numbers it is still a little premature. Saying this however the record does contain a lot that previous releases couldn’t muster up and therefore makes this collection the one to own for any Undertones fan or punk aficionado.
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