It’s always a relief when a band keep their form, yet develop their sound. You can tell talent when a distinct sound is clear, instantly recognisable, yet the overall experience is altered in the ways and means it’s produced. THE VIRGINMARYS new EP Sitting Ducks has that feeling. After last year’s release Divides, many fans where desperate for new material. Keeping more control, this time the boys have self-released this EP, with stunning results.
Title track Sitting Ducks is instantly bright and catchy- stomping bass, trudging drumbeat matched with sharp riffs, and once the heart of the song kicks in, my word you’ll have that chorus stuck in your head for days. Interestingly, there’s something of a synth vibe doing on in the background, an interesting layer for those who know THE VIRGINMARYS sound. It works well, reserved in its usage, and just enough of a new sound to keep what fans know and love from getting old. Interestingly enough, this time around, the guys have managed to blend a more Indie feel with their otherwise blues rock anthems. This bopping blend of genre influences has a fresh vibe and proves that feeling and inspiration go a long way in this game to making your music work.
First single from this EP, Sweet Loretta is just as layered and diverse as anything else the band have done before. The melody that Ally Dickaty masters with his voice, often just on the edge of his classic high pressure cries, while Danny Dolan manages to carry the piece with his relentless rhythm. The bass is funky and bold, while the drums carry the pace beneath inflections of synth and lead guitar.
Through the Sky could be easily mistaken for a track from one of the earlier albums, with its classic THE VIRGINMARYS‘ riffs, laden with bends and belting drums. However, as packed as this song is, there is yet another dimension of sound comes from the vocal recording. There’s a more mellow, dreamlike quality overall. It’s interesting how “Classic VIRGINMARYS” feelings can be altered to make the songs more dimensional here. Never losing the strong, distinct sound that they have, THE VIRGINMARYS are managing to make their music feel like it- and in turn, they- are consistently growing.
Characteristically, THE VIRGINMARYS enjoy taking you on a pumped up, highly active, highly emotive ride through their records, only to slow things down and leave you with a though provoking, haunting final track. Sleep, is no exception to the rule. Much like Stripped in nature, the way it makes you ponder it’s meaning is far less aggressive than the full throttle songs. Dickaty’s song writing has a universal appeal, managing to convey the fears and loneliness untold masses experience and containing it within his voice, all the while comfortably wrapped in the gentle rhythm of warm guitars and deep, echoing drums. A poignant choice to end on, for sure, one that leaves you debating if you want to linger in its subtle messages, or if you want to shake it off and give this release another play-through.
Sitting Ducks is potentially the catchiest release from THE VIRGINMARYS yet, the fact there is a clear growth through the music here, captivating as always, and yet easily branching into new dynamics and ideas is a huge achievement. Those who love this band will be pleased at the consistent nature of their work, and the authentic development in these tight, memorable tracks.
Sitting Ducks is set for release on September 22nd via self-release.
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