The Virginmarys are an English three-piece rock band from Macclesfield, England. They were formed in 2009 and released several EP’s by themselves before they released their debut album ‘King of Conflict’ via DoubleCross/Cooking Vinyl and Wind Up Records (US) in February 2013. I make it a policy to never review any new material without listening to at least a few tracks from their older work (assuming they have any) so that I can get a sense of how the band have developed, and to even provide context to my review, and having done so I can say that ‘Sitting Ducks’ is just another strong entry from this band. I encourage you also to listen to their older stuff before listening to this new release as well.
‘Sitting Ducks’ opens with a nice bassline that instantly set me up for a great track and I wasn’t disappointed, the song doesn’t ease its way in it just kinda happens and that’s great you're just hit by it. I think this track will make its way onto my Ipod for sure, it's something to listen to and just get absorbed into. It has this energy and fire to it but it's not heavy, it reminds me of the kind of things that Arctic Monkeys used to do back in the good old days of ‘when the sun goes down’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. This track though takes the best bits from punk and indie and mergeS it seamlessly. As the title track of the EP and the first track on the album ‘Sitting Ducks’ did an excellent job.
‘Sweet Loretta’ Also has a really nice intro, and this track is instantly different from ‘Sitting Ducks’ it shares the same energy but whereas the previous track contained it to an extent this one doesn’t. I think this was probably my favourite track on the EP between the synth parts and the sweet guitar riffs it just stands out among the other songs. It's catchy is what I think it is, it's the kinda song you find yourself half singing while putting the shopping away and the first one the crowd cheers for at a gig.
‘Through the Sky’ changes things up again, it doesn’t quite seem to have the same edge as the previous two tracks but it does act as a nice inbetween balancing the passion and volume of the previous track with the softer more mellow tones of the next track. I liked ‘Through the Sky’ it seemed tight and well put together but coming on the cusp of ‘Sweet Loretta’ which I doubt I’ll be alone in thinking is the standout track for this EP it's a little weaker than the rest, but if the weakest track on your album is still pretty good then you must be doing something right.
‘Sleep’ Has a soft intro, jangling notes that counterpoint the singer who has a voice that's great for songs like this. Sometimes you get singers that can only do one thing, and that’s not the case here. I made the point of mentioning in my intro that I listened to their old stuff to get a sense of the band and something that kept popping up was just how well composed the band were. This track for me just works, it's slower, but has this perpetual sense of build up that keeps you waiting, and it delivers with quieter more introspective parts rather than heavier sections as you might expect. I think as a closer this song does really well, we also expect the last track to go out with a bang, and while going out with a whimper doesn’t exactly sound good this band finds a nice middle group and goes out on a quiet note, easing off really well.
So those are my thoughts on the Virginmarys new EP ‘Sitting Ducks’. if you want to get it and listen for yourself then check out their store at https://www.thevirginmarys.com/ and if you do want to listen to their old stuff and maybe nab a copy of it then visit their bandcamp. Finally if you want to keep up to date with what’s going on with the band then check them out on Facebook.