I don’t often write reviews of EPs – I’m not sure why, but I think it boils down to the fact that I like my rock to last as long as possible. However, when I was given the chance to review The Virginmarys new EP, I jumped at the chance.
Sometimes, I can get a slight feel for an album by the title. Not always, you understand. But if the title was something like Rotting Corpse, there’s a fair chance that the album isn’t going to be all happy and light. With a title like Sitting Ducks, though, I wasn’t getting anything at all.
With just four tracks to grab you by the balls, The Virginmarys really did need to get this right from the start. Luckily, they do just that. “Sitting Ducks” is a brilliant opener, with the thudding drums getting you in the mood from the off, before we hear the dulcet tones of Ally Dickaty coming through. I genuinely had to listen to this song four or five times before I was able to even start this section of the review – every time I started listening, I just got swept up into it and completely lost track of everything else that I was doing.
Indeed, listening to the opener, it’s hard to believe that these guys are now just a two-piece, following Matt Rose’s departure in December. Rather than hindering them, though, it feels like they’ve really embraced this and just thought “screw it”.
The second track on the EP, “Sweet Loretta”, is as much a departure from the first track as it is similar to it. There’s a sweet familiarity to the drumming and vocals, but this song just keeps ramping up the intensity. This definitely has the hallmarks of being a crowd-favourite for years to come.
“Through the Sky” starts off in much the same vein – this is a rollickingly good rock song, and again makes you wonder how a two-piece can actually sound so good. The guitars alone in this song will make this song a set-staple for years to come. There’s something about this track that reminds me of the Foo Fighters – and I mean that in the nicest possible terms, as the Foos are one of my favourite bands.
The EP closer, “Sleep”, is a change of pace, given that it’s an acoustic track. This track is hauntingly beautiful, and really helps you to appreciate Ally’s voice all the more. There’s a pain and angst that comes through on this track that doesn’t quite happen with the non-acoustic tracks.
Overall, if this EP is any indication of how good a future album from The Virginmarys will be, we’re in for a treat. I’m crossing my fingers, toes and everything else that these guys hit Northern Ireland sometime soon – because on the basis of this EP, these guys are going to be big.