September 24, 2010

VRGNS - "Manimals" LP (Kiss of Death)

  Florida's Virgins, or VRGNS  hail from more than one small town,sharing ex and current members of New Mexican Disaster Squad, No Friends, Gatorface and I'm sure a slew of more recent things I am leaving out.If you are familiar with their previous lp "Miscarriages" you have a some insight as to what one might expect from a Virgins long player.Lucky for us,these boys have given us an lp's worth of fresh tunes that are tighter, catchier, and somewhat revamped and recharged in every way.The recent addition of good guy Alex Goldfarb, replacing original bass-man Phil Longo, has had an obvious influence on the band's songwriting, and a positive one indeed.
  Side A kicks off with a mid-paced,clever opener called "hide and seek".The first line of the record is "everyone is a freak,one or to days a week", and may be telling us that it's OK to be a bit of a weirdo, and to never disguise one's true self, for the sake of an image.It may also be a song about being a total fucking lunatic, and pretending to be "normal" for the sake of a good reputation is also no good.But as with most semi-cryptic lyrics, or any lyrics for that matter, you will always just pull what you want from them and spin them into your own personal tale.
  The songs on Manimals don't necessarily  follow any sort of theme, or storyline, but as this record progresses you can kind of piece together an overall vibe, or understand the personality of the album, and it's members.The lyrics are honest and generally to the point, ranging from short rippers about death and dying, to carefully crafted, insanely catchy tunes about jail and bad parenting skills.They have a knack for turning even the darkest themes into vibrant melodies, and brightly colored chorus lines.The vocals are pushed right to the foreground, with a gruff and confident snarl that is reminiscent of Crimpshrine, Dillinger Four, and label mates- Monikers raspy punk anthems.Goldfarb's contribution to the backing vocals fills out the anthemic choruses nicely, and gives the songs a lively and more fleshed out kind of vibe.
  Musically, Virgins have tightened the screws,and oiled the gears for on Manimals, and it shows.Everything is in it's place, without being too polished or dull.The band recorded once again with producer Chris Owens(Lords) at his much adorned Headbanging Kill Your Mamma studios, in Louisville,Kentucky.He also produced the band's last LP "Miscarriage", which also sounds great.The production value on Manimals is better, with more clarity, giving the songs that extra push they deserve.Aside from a great sounding record, these songs are written very well, and played with perfection and grace.Another scorcher from Virgins, and another solid release from Kiss of Death.Check it out HERE.

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