So, in the two and a half years I've been blogging, I've only mentioned The Undertones in three posts... damn, I'm a loutish spalpeen for not writing about this fantastic band. If I were to sum up The Undertones in one simple sentence, it would be: "The Undertones were Derry's Ramones." They specialized in brief, brief songs (my brother Vincenzo described them as "Three minutes would constitute a ballad") about teenage desire, often unrequited, all sung in the quavering falsetto of frontman (or perhaps, and I don't mean this in derogatory fashion, frontboy) Feargal Sharkey. BBC legend John Peel was on record saying that Teenage Kicks was his all-time favorite song, a song that could move him to tears:
While most of their songs dealt with raging hormones, the band also had a snarky streak best displayed in a barbed tribute to a goody-two-shoes cousin:
Here's a more "introspective" number, a tribute to a child who mysteriously disappeared from Feargal's ken... the fate of "poor little Jimmy" is never made explicit, nor is the thing that he wouldn't let go of:
Wednesday Week is a return to the Undertones' favorite topic, the pangs of unrequited love, with Feargal really jerking on your tear ducts rather than his **REDACTED**:
For a later era number which deviates from their tried-and-true guitar crunch, here's the atypical When Saturday Comes, with a video in which Feargal tries to channel a sickly, anemic Iggy Pop:
I'm saving my favorite Undertones number for last... if Get Over You doesn't slap you silly with it's crunchy guitar onslaught, you've got to check your pulse:
Now, that is two minutes and twenty-six seconds of pure punk-pop bliss. For those of you who are interested in hearing more about The Undertones, here's a nice documentary about the band. So, now I've rectified my Undertones oversight, which is a good thing, because I've mentioned Northern Ireland's other major punk band, which wrote about the violent conflict that The Undertones so studiously left unmentioned in their music, in several posts.