- 08 May 01
Nobody's ever going to call the Undertones "kid's stuff" again.
Nobody’s ever going to call the Undertones "kid’s stuff" again. The Sin Of Pride is certain to destroy prior easy pre-conceptions about the Undertones. Anyone, friend or foe, who’s characterized them as cheery Derry chappies and purveyors of provincial pop humour can apologetically withdraw those limiting definitions after this always atmospheric and sometimes sombre album.
On The Sin Of Pride, the Undertones serve notice both of their artistic ambitions and the abilities to entitle them to do so. Even though ‘The Positive Touch’ broke their early mould, it didn’t completely shake off their initial image as cheeky creators of sitcoms. But any lingering condescension must be erased after The Sin Of Pride where any remaining rags of junior clown’s costume are thrown aside and irrevocably so. They may not be frustrated comics wishing to play Hamlet but they’re certainly enlarged the emotional scope of their repertory.
In their beginnings, the Undertones proclaimed themselves as rooted in sixties beat but now they’re taking sixties notions of "progression" into the eighties through their own reshaping of both soul and psychedelia. Every reviewer is playing the comparison game with this album so I might as well add my own: the way they surround Feargal Sharkey on the slow songs like ‘Love Before Romance’, ‘Soul Seven’ and their cover of ‘Save Me’ – Sharkey takes on Smokey Robinson and survives! – remind me of nothing less than a roughened Roxy Music and that’s a certified compliment.