Album Review: The Virginmarys – Divides


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With many artists nowadays tending to remake the same track over and over again for ‘new’ content, many recent albums tend to captivate me less; they are merely the bed for one or two hit songs. I have found however that this is very far from the case with the Virginmarys’ album the ‘Divides’. The latest album from the Macclesfield-bred band has such a diverse feel to it that it could very well be a compilation album.

The album is kicked off with the dirty bass intro for ‘Push the Pedal’, a powerful drum and bass driven track with front man Ally Dickaty’s rasping vocals over the top. Following that are tracks such as ‘For You My Love’ and ‘Halo In Her Silhouette’ which are fast paced sing along punk-esque anthems: “She’s my anarchy!”

‘Free To Do Whatever They Say’ is a strong pump-up song filled with strong messages of freedom – one of the many topical areas that the Virginmarys cover in their work. The pace then suddenly slows with a classic rock ballad ‘Walk In My Shoes’ with its piano riff and haunting backing vocals; you sometimes forget that it is just the work of a three-piece band!

The running order then moves on to the two pre-released songs of the album. ‘Into Dust’ hits you with a strong F-bomb within its first line, which is unusual for the band but somehow works with the pace of the piece. Then comes ‘Moths To A Flame’ which is the big track of the album. Sounding like the love child between the Kings of Leon and Biffy Clyro, it is a powerhouse of a piece with memorable vocals and strong melody.

Heading towards the end of the album, you hear ‘Falling Down’ which reminisces the Clash and the Marys previous album ‘King of Conflict’, ‘Motherless Land’ which always gets me singing – a rock masterpiece with a killer guitar solo, then ends with ‘Living In My Peace’, best described by reviewer Steve Rodriguez: the piece “draws on everything that’s gone before, energy, haunting backing vocals, a big vocal range, guitar driven melodies with pounding drum fills and beats and an emotive, expansive and atmospheric crescendo. It typically rises and rises then drops in that well-fitting sudden ending to leave you thinking about what may have happened next.”

If this relatively new band keeps releasing this sort of material, they are certainly going to go far. The Virginmarys will be playing at the Cathouse on March 17th.

[Elliot Turner]

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