The Virgins – Strike Gently (Cult Records)
New York retro rock band The Virgins have released their second full length album. Harley Cassidy finds that it stacks up to their debut quite nicely.
Picture yourself in a Studio 54-esque disco dustbowl: sophisticated rich kids are shimmying in time to a seedy, funk driven beat, but they’re all dressed in downgraded leather and band t-shirts like it’s 2013. Imagining it? Right, now imagine a soundtrack that features libidinous, defiled guitars and 70s be-bop style beats and that pretty much sums up The Virgins’ second, long waited album, in a mirror ball coated nutshell.
The New York glam rockers are back with an album that encapsulates all the New Wave retro appeal of their first album whilst managing to clean up their too cool for school image along the way. ‘Strike Gently’ is The Virgin’s more mature, slicker yet sleazier uncle who is trapped in a warped glitter ball of contemporary yet classic sounds.
‘Prima Materia’ kicks off platform boot style, all scuzzy tempos and heartfelt lyrics like, “Six numbers, one that brings me back to you”. Oh-so-arty frontman Donald Cumming manages to sound like a mixture of Joey Ramone and David Byrne on ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (and the rest of the album) whilst some serious dirty disco is happening on ‘Flashbacks, Memories and Dreams’. The doo-wop balladry of ‘Figure On The Ice’ opens up The Virgin’s heartstrings for all to see even if it is a song about being pleased after sex.
‘What Good Is Moonlight’ definitely promises tons of reverb in live performances with wailing guitars cascading between intervals of Cumming’s spoken, edgy vocals. It’s classic New York cool done by New Yorkers and appreciated by New Yorkers. You’re not going to catch anyone else bleating about post-coital matters in a suave romantic fashion, let’s put it that way.
So you thought they were long gone but they’re back on some guy from The Strokes’ record label, re-invented themselves a little bit without going down the whole “experimental” route and STILL managed to beat that second album syndrome. Round of applause if you will.
Words by Harley Cassidey.