Thursday, March 03, 2016
Album Review :: Virgin Kids - Greasewheel
March 11 2016 (Fluffer Records)
Words: Richard O’Hagan
Rarely has a record left a reviewer so conflicted as this, the debut from London garage rock threesome Virgin Kids. On the one hand, it is gorgeously warm and fuzzy, jangling along like C86 wasn’t three decades ago and only happened last week. On the other hand, though, it is really easy to listen to. Really easy. As in ‘I was halfway through the second listen before I realised it’ easy. In short, it is very nice until you realise that nothing much is happening.
You see, music is like life – if it is warm and fuzzy all of the time, it gets a bit dull. The only real standout moment on ‘Greasewheel’ is a cover of The Clean’s ‘Beatnik’, and that’s because that is the point where Virgin Kids start having to put some angles onto their music, to give it a bit of an edge. It is a much needed intervention. Opener and lead single ‘Bruised Knees’ has an interesting, vaguely oriental, intro, before kicking into a pleasant buzz that rolls over almost seamlessly into ‘Catching A Colour’ and on for the next several tracks.
Asher Preston’s vocals are defiantly raw and at times rather affecting, but tellingly ‘Greasewheel’s’ high spot comes with closer ‘Sentimental Youth’ and its sawing, burning rhythm and mood-swing melody. That that track comes right after the aforementioned cover version shows how much this record needed more light and shade to really make a mark.
Technically, Virgin Kids clearly have what it takes, but they need to get themselves and the listener out of that warm and fuzzy comfort zone.