THE UNDERTONES – “Teenage Kicks” EP (Sire 4007) October 1978
“Teenage Kicks” is arguably the greatest teen punk number of the 1970s. Not many people on Earth, unless you’re one of those urbane square types would fail to recognize the sheer power, adolescent frustration, two chord wonderment and anthemic joy of this greatness spinning on their turntable in 1978.
If The Undertones had bailed out after this release they would never have been forgotten. As it turned out they had numerous stirring numbers just bursting to be unleashed on the scene and soon became Chart regulars for years to come. (YPS)
These five well-rehearsed Ramones fans had won a Belfast Battle Of The Bands contest and done the rounds with their demos before approaching an indie label based in a Derry record shop.
The resulting messy, handmade 4-track Teenage Kicks EP found an instant champion in John Peel, who aired the title track nightly – sometimes twice.
John O’Neill’s urgent, two-guitar / two chord riff and Feargal Sharkey’s quavering, slightly desperate voice distilled all adolescence hope and frustration into a triumphant two-minute spurt. With the universality of a folk song, it chimed with anyone who had ever been young. (Mojo)
The Undertones are fronted by Steve Marriot’s grandson and sound like Ramones who’ve never heard of heroin. I’m sorry they’ve left Belfast label Good Vibrations for Sire because I thought they had a good future ahead of ’em (NME)
“This still sounds good. John wrote it. The Ramones were an inspiration – he wrote it in late ’77. The twin guitars make it – they still sound good. John Peel’s support surprised us. One night he played it twice in a row. I was working at the time in a builder’s merchants, and Peter Powell made it his Record Of The Week, which meant it got played at lunchtime. I was a bit embarrassed, actually. Perfect pop? We never really liked that term. Perfect pop was Abba.” (bassist Michael Bradley)