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Album Review

It's almost unthinkable, really, that Derry's fabled good-time teen punks of yesteryear would record and continue without frontman Feargal Sharkey, let alone that their output would be anything less than embarrassing. Yes, re-form without Feargal is what the Undertones did, and the results on Get What You Need are nowhere near embarrassing. John O'Neill still kicks ass as a songwriter of tight, focused greasy little ditties where girls and more girls are the predestined and predominant order of the day. Never mind that the sod is in his midforties. With Paul McLoone in the vocal slot and the rest of the 'Tones kicking out the jams at ten, combined hooky, infectious melodies, fifth-gear tempos chock-full of lovely bridges and refrains, and the O'Neil brothers as inspired as ever — if sounding a bit silly going on about puppy love and its lack in the dark ages we inhabit — you have everything you need for a complete escape to more innocent, drunken, loutish times with a smile on the faces of everyone in your immediate vicinity. Virtually everything here is solid, but "Thrill Me," "I Need Your Love the Way It Used to Be," and "Everything but You" — the first three tracks — are so good you might never get past them. Other knockouts are the rave-up "You Can't Say That," the anthemic "Enough," "Oh Please," and the heavier-than-God garage rock of "Shut Down," which are enough to make a punter wet himself. Recommended.


Formed: November, 1975 in Derry, Northern Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Undertones slam-bang punk-pop drew its strength from one simple fact: you didn't need a secret handshake to enjoy it. John and Damian O'Neill mated infectious guitar hooks to '60s garage, '70s glam rock, and Feargal Sharkey's signature vocal quaver. Those qualities came together on their breakout hit "Teenage Kicks," whose simplicity harked back to '60s ideals of when the song was king. The Undertones formed in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1975. However, they avoided references to their hometown's...
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