The Virgins Return

The Virgins recently released a new song, “Venus In Chains,” after a lengthy period of radio silence[1].  The Virgins are downtown Manhattan boys, and their 2008 debut album contained an amalgamation of styles popular in New York in the late 70s and early 80s — disco, post-punk, synth-pop.  “Venus In Chains” is more straightforward, power-pop in the manner of an earlier track, “Hey Hey Girl.”  It proceeds at a steady pace, but it’s got less drive than most Virgins tunes.  The song’s title evokes the Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs” and Lou Reed’s fondness for the stranger aspects of sexual interaction, but the sound is more like tame late 70s radio rock; it doesn’t feel particularly illicit.  The Virgins were always content to reinvent the wheel, but their debut was best when it was pounding or funky.  When they’re not speeding forward, they sometimes seem bored, and their music suffers – like the weak “Fernando Pando,” from their first album.  “Venus In Chains” isn’t quite boring, but it doesn’t inject any fresh energy into a well-worn style.

[1] “Island Girl,” a very rough sounding new demo, is also circulating.

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