Having already been featured on Gossip Girl and having received a good deal of blog hype following the 2007 release of a five-song EP, NYC art-kid quartet the Virgins make the jump to the big leagues with their self-titled major label debut. Without the Strokes’ independently wealthy disaffect or Vampire Weekend’s prep-school frame-of-reference, the Virgins are more approachable and an easier band to root for than many of the city’s other high profile Next Big Things. With all five of the songs from their EP accounted for in much more polished versions, The Virigns is a catchy, if not exactly groundbreaking, debut. Lead single “Rich Girls” is the obvious standout and its slicker studio version is an improvement from the already plenty-good rough cut that made the blog rounds late last year. That single also articulates the band’s aesthetic, which borrows heavily from the dance-punk of Interpol and especially from the sharp style of Franz Ferdinand’s rhythm section. On the excellent opener “She’s Expensive” and the wry narrative of “Murder,” the Virgins actually foreground their disco and funk influences even more prominently than Franz Ferdinand, giving the record a persistent, engaging groove that works as a grittier, less smug alternative to the likes of Maroon 5. Refreshingly unpretentious, especially by the standards of heavily hyped bands, and as simply entertaining as any recent major label debut, Virgins strikes a careful balance between fashionable and accessible, which makes the band a good candidate for a real commercial breakthrough.
- Release Date
- June 1, 2008
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