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Dig Yourself Deep

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Album Review

When the Undertones reunited in 1999 without original vocalist Feargal Sharkey, fans were shocked that the four other members of the band would have the audacity to replace such a unique and inspired frontman. Once they heard new vocalist Paul McLoone, they began to change their tune, slowly but surely. Surprisingly, McLoone was able to tackle the old material quite nicely without sounding like a cheap impersonation of Sharkey. By the time the band finally released their first album with their "new" vocalist, 2003's Get What You Need, old fans embraced McLoone with open arms and were happy to see the band back in action. With John O'Neill handling most of the songwriting, the band's sound was less Undertones-inspired and veered more towards his work with That Petrol Emotion. Still, the album contained some great material and put the spotlight back on this deserving Irish outfit. Four years later comes the second McLoone-fronted Undertones album and what a treat it is! The songs on Dig Yourself Deep are a true return to the classic sound of the Undertones: infectious songs that are short, sweet, and to the point. In all honesty, Feargal's voice could sometimes be a little grating over the course of an entire album, but not so with McLoone. He has better command of his voice and is able to be more forceful where Sharkey was sometimes little more than "interesting" (and this is written by a fan of the man!). "Dig Yourself Deep," "Precious Little Wonder," "Tomorrow's Tears," "Everything You Say Is Right," "We All Talked About You," and "She's So Sweet" are perfect additions to the band's hook-laden catalog and sound like the missing links between the Hypnotised and Positive Touch albums. And out of 14 tracks, only one song gets close to the three-minute mark, and not one of them gets remotely close to outstaying their welcome. Any Undertones fan who have held back on giving them a go since their re-formation should do themselves a favor and dig in deep! ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee, Rovi


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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