37. The Undertones, 'The Undertones' (1979)
In post-Pistols '79, the Clash's London was calling to the zombies of death, and Gang of Four were searching for the dirt behind the daydream. The Undertones happened to be living in the middle of Northern Ireland conflict just a short hop across the sea, but instead they opted to be sunny and whingy, reveling in both suburban angst and pop artifice like true bubblegum heroes. "It was a positive way to fill our time rather than join in with the rioting," guitarist John O'Neil told Noisey. "I was also a very naïve, diffident teenager. I didn't have the confidence to write about the political situation and do it justice." Instead they absorbed the lessons of Phil Spector, the Brill Building, the Nuggets comps and the Ramones, singing about heartbreak ("Get Over You") and sexual frustration ("Girls Don't Like It") with the taut New Wave hooks that made their friendzone anthems both melancholy and fun, connecting the dots between Jonathan Richman and the Descendents. The can't-get-no-satisfaction infatuation-rocker "Teenage Kicks" became a modern classic, covered by everyone from Green Day to One Direction. C.R.W.