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The Virginmarys - King Of Conflict (Album Review)

Monday, 04 February 2013 Written by Anna Ghislena
The Virginmarys - King Of Conflict (Album Review)

It is not very often that listening to a new album makes you want to cry, dance and brawl at the same time, but The Virginmarysí 'King of Conflict' does just that. It is like getting caught in a ruckus that leaves you with a bloody nose, a smile on your face and a rush to the head.

ImageSo, it is easy to see why invitations to tour with Slash, Reverend & The Makers, Feeder and Eagles of Death Metal have arisen over the last couple of years. The Macclesfield trio, Ally Dickaty (vocals and guitar), Danny Dolan (drums) and Matt Rose (bass and vocals) have often been compared to Led Zeppelin with a sound that resonates around the late 60s and early 70s. Mix that up with The Stooges, the Foo Fighters and a smattering of Motorhead meets The Arctic Monkeys and you have one riotous reincarnation of grunge with a bluesy edge.

Produced by Toby Jepson (The Little Angels) and mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Skunk Anansie), 'King of Conflict' is a thrilling exploration of a darker side of life. Lyrically explosive, themes of destructive behaviour, helpless submission and hopeless loves lost, are tightly wound into a helter skelter of toe tapping drums, the grind of raw riffs and gruff northern vocals that sound like Lemmy after gargling mouthwash.

The fact that they have opened their debut album with their acclaimed single 'Dead Manís Shoes' doesnít set the bar high for what follows, it merely sets the standard of the following eleven tracks as, well, outstanding. 'Portrait of Red' covers sensitive ground about male victims of domestic violence and demonstrates the bands ability to traverse moods with fleeting injections of Stone Roses essence. 'Just a Ride' has got to be my favourite track with choruses full of harmonies about the numb recognition of a failed relationship which rollercoasters along until the ride ends. Slowing down slightly, 'Out of Mind' produces interesting melodious interludes which deliver us neatly into pistols at dawn and gunslingers standoff style in 'Bang, Bang, Bang' with its tortured lyrics and disjointed insanity. Indeed, 'Running For My Life' is similarly punctuated and conjures up images of retro cop shows complete with car chases interrupted by still frames and credits. 'Dressed to Kill' is melancholy and dangerous whereas 'My Little Girl[ is a get down and dirty striptease of a song. 'Youíve Got Your Money, Iíve Got My Soul' shuns the face of capitalism.

Finally, when 'Ends Donít Mend' winds you down with a false sense of comfort, its tones of atmospheric blues offering you that long awaited drag of oxygen, it is not long before the anticipation grows for another fix and soon. This album is powerful, dangerous and daring. It is one hit that will pulse in your veins for months to come and, believe me, the craving will never go away.

'King of Conflict' full tracklisting:

1. Dead Manís 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. Takiní The Blame
11. Youíve Got Your Money, Iíve Got My Soul
12. Ends Donít Mend

'King of Conflict' is released today, Monday 4th February. The Virginmarys head out on a UK tour later this month and play an acoustic gig at Apple Store, Regent Street, London, W1B2E in support of the album on Tuesday 5th February 2013. Entry is free with the band on stage at 7pm.

The Virginmarys UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon February 25th 2013 - 53 Degrees, Preston
Tue February 26th 2013 - York Duchess, York
Wed February 27th 2013 - Rock City, Nottingham
Sun March 3rd 2013 - Stereo, Glasgow
Tue March 5th 2013 - Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
Wed March 6th 2013 - BARFLY, CAMDEN, London
Thu March 7th 2013 - Louisiana, Bristol
Fri March 8th 2013 - Manchester Academy 3, Manchester

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