Review by Dom Vigil
The Virginmarys’ newest release, Divides is the definition of well-balanced. While that may seem like a rather generic or bland way to describe an album, it makes sense three songs into Divides, when you’ve already seen multiple different sides to The Virginmarys and still have another nine songs to go. Just when the aggressive sound begins to become too much, they relent, giving listeners a breather before diving into another raw, hard-hitting track, and by the time Divides comes to an end, you’re bound to feel exhausted, yet fulfilled.
The buildup on the opening track, “Push The Pedal” is quite possibly one of the strongest moments on Divides. Much of the raw energy that you can expect from The Virginmarys builds in the opener, heavy with bass, but strong in every instrument, from deep drums to gritty vocals. “Push The Pedal” serves as an aggressive opener, but still feels upbeat and catchy, just in time for summer.
The following track, “For You My Love,” gives listeners that first taste of great balance on the record with a more guitar heavy sound. However, the guitar work isn’t the only strong point to “For You My Love.” Lyrically, the song is on the vulnerable side with lines like, “If I die/I will die/For you my love,” accented by stellar vocal harmonies that will leave you wanting more.
The controlled chaos continues on the drum heavy “Free To Do Whatever They Say.” Vocally, this track is very punchy, demanding your attention with a more raw, gritty punk sound. “Free To Do Whatever They Say” isn’t the only in your face track on Divides, but it definitely serves as a standout on the first half of the album. Only four songs in, and Divides is already impressive, hosting quite a bit of diversity.
“Walk In My Shoes” is a much needed breather placed right in the middle of the album, which is no accident. Just when the relentless aggressive energy starts to become too much, this song is slows things down and shows yet another side of The Virginmarys. And thankfully, it doesn’t sound out of place. Gritty bass and vocals spearhead the song over haunting backing vocals, giving it a very big, anthemic sound while still tying it in with the following fast-paced track, “Kill The Messenger.”
Thankfully, The Virginmarys end Divides just as strong as they start it. Songs like “Into Dust” and “Moths To A Flame” contrast incredibly with one another. While “Into Dust” hosts some aggressive, angry vocals and eerily beautiful guitar work, “Moths To A Flame” is a softer side of the band. “Motherless Land” also showcases this sound, giving us a nearly poppy track before the end.
The diversity toward the end of the album is welcomed, as it is sure to keep listeners eagerly awaiting whatever The Virginmarys throw at them next, which in this case, is the huge finale, “Living In My Peace.” The final track ends things on a rather bright and beautiful note, giving us yet another side to the band before we inevitably hit play all over again. Aggressive tracks find themselves balanced out by softer, more emotionally heavy songs by the time that Divides comes to an end, and the result is an incredibly well thought out release.
Listen to "For You My Love" or "Into Dust"
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