The Undertones – True Confessions (Singles = A’s + B’s)

Release Date 04/04/2011 (Salvo)

Review by Scott Zverblis

The Undertones, like a lot of the best punk bands from the 1970s, embraced a number of contradictions. On one level, they rejected beauty and aesthetic excellence, and as a whole, rejected the musical mainstream. On another level, however, they crafted a number of truly exquisite singles with enormously catchy guitar hooks and pop sensibility. And while many other punk bands adopted a gob-in-your-face, safety pinned outrageousness, the Undertones usually only managed to write songs about teen angst and frustration in love. They were by no means the greatest of the punk bands, or indeed the worst, but they are probably the most accessible.

The legendary band fromDerryis fortunately well served at the moment by a number of anthologies. There are no less than nine previous collections of their songs, and one wouldn’t go wrong with any of them. This reissue is the latest, and most complete – featuring a separate disc of b-sides. Also included are excellent linear notes written by original bass player – and part-time radio producer for BBC radio Foyle – Michael Bradley

This latest collection catalogues all the Derrybands singles from the John Peel favorite and all round classic, ‘Teenage Kicks’ to the insanely catchy and confectionary indorsing ‘Mars Bars’. Other highlights include, the relative baiting ‘My Perfect Cousin’, teen angst anthem, ‘You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It!)’ and the guitar swagger of ‘Jimmy Jimmy’.

Like many of the top punk bands form the 1970s (Ramones, Buzzcocks, The Damned etc) The Undertones were essentially, and will always be a singles band. Out of all the Undertones collections, ‘True Confessions’ is probably the one that will please the casual fan the most.

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