Virginmarys Marry Alt with Punk, Metal

The Virginmarys certainly pack a punch with the release of their sophomore LP Divides. Hailing from Macclesfield, England, the three-piece rock band create a politically conscious album that’s as much in your face as it is honest. Influenced by the sounds of the British rock revolution with a hint of modern punk, Divides is an album that doesn’t sit in the sidelines.

Most of the songs on the album carry an intense, almost metal rock guitar riff that adds a notable amount of heaviness to its overall feeling. Those with sensitive ears beware: this album is not for the weary.

Yet, this is probably what gives the album its charm, ironically enough. The blaring instruments, combined with frontman Ally Dickaty’s raspy vocals, exemplify the authentic punk rock experience.

The Virginmarys are Heavy, Visceral, and Appealing

Tracks like “Motherless Land” hold simple lyrics that honestly (and unapologetically) depict life for someone who’s merely trying to figure things out. Dickaty sings, “Oh, take me out of mind,” as he reaches the chorus, creating an anthem for those times where all one can do is escape reality and let go of the inner-turmoil.

With its lighter guitar riffs and Dickaty’s softened vocals, this track stands out as a more classic rock oriented composition, showing the band’s capability to expand beyond its punk rock persona.

While the general outline of Divides seems to be punk and alt rock, tracks like “I Wanna Take You Home” add a flash of pop rock that manage to lighten up the album’s load. The undeniably classic British rock sound that peeks through the song’s obvious punk forefront almost sound like a slowed down, harsher version of the Arctic Monkeys (circa the Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not era). The Virginmarys’ blend of a variety of rock subgenres truly adds a subtle variety to the album, setting it apart from being just noise.

“For You My Love,” however, brings The Virginmarys right back to its alternative rock roots. The track itself is a massive head-banger, featuring a thunderous guitar solo and an upbeat riff. Listed toward the beginning of the album, it is a great introduction to the band’s musical aesthetic.

Lyrics like “If I die, I will die for you my love” suggest that the song is a lover’s ode, but Dickaty’s booming vocals and the track’s feverish instrumental add an edge that can only be described as alternative rock.

Achieving a great balance between the old and the new, Divides presents itself as an album that screams from the rooftops with genuine emotion. The Virginmarys manage to stay away from the fine line between alternative rock and aimless noise, creating a sound that can appeal to a wide range of audience members.

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