Release Date: Mar 12, 2013
Record label: Cult Records
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.
It’s been a long old road for The Virgins and frontman Donald Cumming since the release of their self-titled debut album back in in 2008. Five years between albums certainly seems like a surprisingly lengthy gap for a band whose first album achieved great critical acclaim and led to international festival appearances and late night talk shows. Yet Cumming had something of a crisis of confidence, which subsequently left him wondering whether he wanted to make music again at all.
The Virgins started getting press and feedback on their new material for Strike Gently back in October, though not the kind they were expecting. That was when the New York Post decided that a few noise complaints about a local band’s frequent practices was news and published an article featuring a couple of hilarious curmudgeon reviews from disgruntled neighbors. They should be glad they weren’t around in 2008 for the band’s eponymous debut, a decidedly beat-heavier affair that might very well have caused move-outs.