In my childhood, I spent many hours playing with Lego. Years later our children also got engrossed with their Lego, which then contained a far greater range of component parts than that which had been available to me. I now anticipate our first grandchild will be able to be stimulated by an even greater range of parts. Similarly, over the same time-scale, the range of sub-genres and variants of rock music has exploded. With Lego, some people can combine bricks randomly and produce little of interest, but others are highly skilled and can create the most incredible constructions. The Virginmarys have successfully mastered the ability to combine elements from the broad spectrum of rock music to produce a truly mesmerising debut album that effortlessly takes the listener on a journey through the rock landscape.
In the mould of classic power-rock trios such as Cream, Taste, Blue Cheer (at least some incarnations), Motorhead and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Virginmarys provide solid, driving, frill-free rock music. The musicianship is clear to hear; virtuoso guitar, underpinned by powerful bass and skillful drumming. One thing that does seem to be missing when compared to some rock output of previous decades is the self-indulgence of extended solos – and I can’t say that I’m sorry about that. The continual change of pace and style maintains my interest and I found myself frequently replaying the album.
Another difference from the 1970s is the fact that these ‘northern lads’ from Huddersfield have avoided any attempts to opt for a ‘mid-Atlantic’ accent and comfortably sing in their natural northern tongue; I find this adds interest and character to their output. Also included in the package I got, a ‘hidden track’ and lovely stripped versions of three of the tracks.
Ally Dickaty – guitar / vocals
Danny Dolan – drums
Matt Rose – bass / vocals
1/ Dead Man’s Shoes
2/ Portrait Of Red
3/ Just A Ride
4/ Out Of Mind
5/ Bang Bang Bang
6/ Lost Weekend
7/ Running For My Life
8/ Dressed To Kill
9/ My Little Girl
10/ Taking The Blame
11/ You’ve Got Your Money, I’ve Got My Soul
12/ Ends Don’t Mend (Hidden Track)
13/ Just A Ride (Stripped recording)
14/ Just A Ride (Stripped recording)
15/ Lost Weekend (Stripped recording)