‘Dig What You Need’ is the brand new Best of compilation from Derry’s finest The Undertones. Lifted from their two reformation albums, 2003’s “Get What You Need” and 2007’s “Dig Yourself Deep”. The first time on vinyl and They’ve got Paul Tipler to remix and remaster the tracks as well.
To be fair I think I speak for quite a few and admit to not really having paid much attention to Derry’s favourite sons and their output post Fergal. Much to my embarrassment, it would seem. You see, I loved the original band they were a big fixture on my record player as a young man growing up in West Wales and when Fergal and the band broke up I guess we all moved on. I wasn’t keen on Fergals direction and That Petrol Emotion just wasn’t what I wanted either so another great band was filed in the drawer…Remember them or whatever happened to?
Now I knew they reformed with a new frontman but I’d moved on. it was a chance viewing many years later of a documentary about the band that my love for them was reignited. Now I knew they released a few albums but never got involved and seeing as the best tracks off the noughties albums are here, reissued on vinyl for the first time, I must admit to being gutted I didn’t dive in earlier and wholeheartedly regret not trusting my instincts.
Back in the day when I first heard that debut album, I like many was totally blown away by their pop-rock melodies and Ramones-like relentless wall of sound. We all know how they were championed by BBC DJ John Peel. With disco and youth club classics like ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘Get Over You’ and ‘My Perfect Cousin’ But this is about the reformed Undertones who in 1999 with new singer Paul McLoone got back amongst it releasing two really strong albums.
Now you’ll never please all the people all the time but with releases like this its to try and catch old fans (like Me) or tempt in new ones maybe too young to remember the bands heyday. you know what? this release does an excellent job in just that showcasing just what the band has to offer and giving a great cross-section of those Two naughties albums. Damian O’Neill said of this bunch of tunes, they are all firm favourites on an Undertones set list these days, all songs penned by John O¹Neill and Michael Bradley.
So it’s a no brainer really that there is a best-of compilation taken from the two albums with Paul McLoone. O’Neill even spoke of his excitement that producer and mixing maestro Paul Tipler was on board with the songs providing a fresh pair of ears to make them sound even better than they originally did. What you have here is a bunch of songs that flow really well and as a “new” record it sounds impressive and current. So dig this compilation people both old and new for ‘Dig What You Need’ has some most excellent tunes.
The thirteen chosen songs kick off with a straight down-the-line rocker with a great hook and melody ‘Thrill Me’. To be fair McLoone has a belting voice and knocks this one right out of the park on what I would consider to be a bread and butter sound of The Undertones. That wall of overdriven guitar – a banging melody that sounds like it’s played with huge grins all around. The album doesn’t roll out in sequence as on the original records but jumps around which helps. ‘I Need Your Love’ is Rock and Rolling along with a great air of Joie de vivre much like a lot of the band’s songs. Its power pop with a smile and an offer of a great time.
It’s not all one-dimensional though ‘Joyride’ is more pop less power and they do add keyboards to proceedings along the way which adds another texture. The chosen songs from ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ sound fresh, the title track is a great song with a big chorus and a smart mid-tempo groove. to be fair there isn’t much between the best songs on offer they all shine and it’s great to hear them for the first time. Maybe the only question I have would be why a best of and not just a re-release of both records on vinyl? I guess a taster is a good place to start before you Dig into this proper and maybe if this does well both records on vinyl will come. Until then this will more than do. Never mind dig – This is what you need – Buy It!
Bandcamp ‘Dig What You Need’ Pre-Order: https://theundertones.bandcamp.com
Digital ‘Dig What You Need’ Pre-order: https://orcd.co/undertonesdig
Author: Dom Daley
The Undertones dates in full:
10 – Sheffield, UK @ Leadmill *
11 – Northampton, UK @Roadmender ^
12 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom ^
17 – Brighton, UK @ Chalk ^
18 – Frome, UK @ Cheese & Grain ^
19 – Cardiff, UK @ Cardiff SU Great Hall ^
31- Newcastle, UK @ Boiler Shop ^
01 – Manchester, UK @Academy – ^
02 – Liverpool, UK @ O2 Academy ^
09 – Munich, Germany @ Feierwerk
10 – Weinheim, Germany @ Cafe Central
22 – Dublin, Ireland @ Academy
May13 – Bremen, Germany @ Kulturzentrum Lagerhaus
14 – Düsseldorf, Germany @ Zakk
15 – Hamburg, Germany @ Markethalle
17 – Malmo, Sweden @ Plan B
18 – Oslo, Norway @ Vulkan Arena
20 – Göteborg, Sweden @ Pustervik
21 – Stockholm, Sweden @Slaktkykan
22 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpenhuset
*Special guest Neville Staple Band
^Special guest Hugh Cornwell Electric
Tickets available from : https://www.bandsintown.com/a/17292-the-undertones