The Virgins – ‘Strike Gently’

More than just another bunch of privileged rich kids slumming it in the grubby world of rock’n’roll

Following their self-titled 2008 debut album, The Virgins swiftly became objects of ridicule for being another bunch of privileged rich kids slumming it in the grubby world of rock’n’roll. Five years later, ‘Strike Gently’ is out on Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records and is a surprisingly dynamic listen, shifting from scuzzy, hungover romps (‘Prima Materia’) to soft, romantic croons (‘Blue Rose Tattoo’) and smooth, sexy hits (‘Flashbacks, Memories And Dreams’). The poetically vivid imagery shows frontman Donald Cumming achieving new songwriting maturity, with the parallel thought-strands of adoration and post-coital contentment on ‘Figure On The Ice’ showing fresh lyrical abilities. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all though is how classic it sounds, Cumming’s posturing sounding as if it’s been lifted straight from a forgotten vinyl covered in dust and suspicious stains. It’s Dire Straits teamed with louche New York cool – a combination that shouldn’t work, but totally does.

Rhian Daly

Details

Director: Gus Oberg & Johnny T Yerington
Record label: Cult Records
Release date: 11 Mar, 2013