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  • Topic: (Grand)Sons of the Undertones from Lower 26th

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    • July 29, 2014 2:31 PM CDT
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      The Number Ones aka The #1's

      Self Titled
      Static Shock (UK) 
      Deranged Records (US) 

      Thirty five years after The Undertones put Ireland on the Punk map another band is pushing forward with similar youthful vigor. Sure there might have been hundreds of bands of similar pop punk in the last 25 years but its still great to hear such a cohesive collection come together.
      In just the first five minutes anyone that has been ruined by 90/00s pop Punk desenstization should have their faith restored in the genre of music. Songs of heartbreak and young love provide the stories. The rolling bass lines over the chorus on "Sharon Shouldn't" with the muted "woo-hoos" is probably better than most songs from like bands. The care free "Boys" is juxtaposed with punk caliber ballad's "Girl" and "Tell me Why". "Anything" even features a pretty ripping guitar solo. What seperates The Number Ones aka The #1's from the rest of the pack is what seeps in at the edges."Heartsmash" and "He's Too Good" have flavors of Denton,TX style punk (Marked Men, Early RiverBoat gamblers). "Tell Me Why" at moments gives me that same feeling that the Flamin Groovies gave me the first time I heard Shake Some Action.
      This is fun and nowhere near meanspirited. This band might not ever venture out of Europe. For all intents and purposes down the line might end up on a 2014 version of Killed By Death Comp. This week The Number One's might be the best ~18 minutes of music you hear all week.

    • July 29, 2014 7:29 PM CDT
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      You're right , there's no reason to fear Pop - oriented Punk , in The Buzzocks / Vibrators / Boys (and Undertones , Dickies , etc.) kinda vein , but "Pop Punk "as a genre , in all it's whiny, bed - wetting glory, detracts from the idea of real hooks and real songwriting . It'd be great if more bands could fuse the two , Punk and Pop , into something not , as we say in the states , wussy - sounding. Maybe you say the same thing !   But , The #1s aren't doing it for me that much....I intend to give them more of a chance, but, upon first listen , they're far superior to American 90's Pop Punk , though they don't sound like they're breaking any new ground.

      That said , I think they'll make it. It would be cool if Ireland had an internationally popular band , again , that could make us forget U2's  inexplicable rise to world dominance (I really thought they'd peaked around 1983-4. Little did I know.) .

      The comparison to Denton , Texas is interesting. I did'nt know Denton had any distinctive sound , and only learned , about 8 years ago , that they'd long since usurped Dallas as the live music center of North Texas. In 1980 - 81, when I first went to shows in Denton , with my Brother , the whole scene pretty much consisted of a then- still great Brave Combo , and  unknown , to this day , bands like The Frenetics , Chef Physique , and The Jetsons. When I read about Denton's burgeoning scene , people usually start in the early 90's , as though nothing happened there , previously. There was Bliss (Punk/Rock) , Snake Farm (Funny Punk) Charred (No Wave - ish.) , and Whirlygigs (60's Power Pop) , and myself (Trash.) . Original bands from the 80's have been wiped clean from everyone's memory. There were no places for "Punk" bands to play , except house parties , prior to then. Dallas did'nt recognize Denton , which is only an hour away , and , now , Denton is'nt recognizing Dallas.

      Sorry , I know that has nothing to do with this band. I'm just reminded of when Denton was barely a blip on the radar , barring North Texas State University's Jazz Band.

    • July 31, 2014 8:51 AM CDT
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      Thanks for the feedback

    • July 31, 2014 3:50 PM CDT
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      NOT AT ALL. HOPE I DID'NT GET CARRIED AWAY , BUT , THE MENTION OF DENTON BRINGS BACK ALL THESE (MOSTLY GOOD) MEMORIES , BEFORE IT BECAME , OR APPEARS TO HAVE BECOME , AUSTIN #2 (AND I HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF AUSTIN FROM A LOOOOOOOOONG TIME AGO , AS WELL.). 

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