25 November 2018
The Virginmarys - Northern Sun Sessions
Macclesfield two-piece Power Punk explosion The Virginmarys are no stranger to these pages, and Northern Sun Sessions has long been expected. Since their last album, the brilliant Divides (our review linked here), it hasn't been quiet on the VM front. There have been tours, they released the Sitting Ducks EP, there have been charity shows and a steady release of demos for this album as well. Which brings us to the release of Northern Sun Sessions. Now, as some of you can see, the album is a 3D cover. Now, sadly this is lost on me as I'm colourblind. But I've been assured that it's a special cover, also - I like the lightbulb image. If you pre-ordered this album, you were sent a pair of 3D glasses, as well as a note thanking you for helping them with this release. Now, I love that sort of thing, it shows a personal touch, a caring for the fans and it's heartwarming to see. But, at the end of the day, an album is judged by the songs, the meat and bones of the record. With that, it's time to see if Northern Sun Sessions is any good.
Northern Sun Sessions find The Virginmarys in fighting spirits. Five of the tracks here: "Get Me Back Home", "Wanna Be Free", "Set Up", "Northern Sun" and "Blind Lead the Blind" were released as part of the Northern Sun demo giveaway during the year. It's nice to see the change in the tracks from those early demos to fleshed out numbers. Elsewhere on the album, we find the VM's on fire with "S.O.S.4.U.N.I.", breaking hearts with "For The Two of Us" and in open rebellion with "Flags". They've betted hight, raised the stakes and went for broke here, sounding like they've nothing to lose and came out with all guns blazing.
With this approach, there is always a danger that it could all turn to shit. Sometimes it can be a little bit too heavy, sometimes it can sink an album. Thankfully, Northern Sun Sessions is not one of those albums. The Virginmarys are a tight duo, so they know their strengths and they can make the same amount of noise as many five-piece bands. It's an album that makes you want to jump around and fills the world with sunshine. The Virginmarys have upped the ante on Northern Sun Sessions, making all the right moves and sounding like fighting champions. This is a passion project and it sounds great, definitely one that I would recommend to people who love their punk from the North!
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.
Top track - S.O.S.4.U.N.I.
You can purchase Northern Sun Sessions from Amazon here.
You can visit The Virginmarys website here, which also has a webstore and is a better place to purchase Northern Sun Sessions (just saying).
You can follow the activities of The Virginmarys on Facebook here.
You can stream Northern Sun Sessions on Spotify here.
You can stream Northern Sun Sessions on Deezer here.
You can stream Northern Sun Sessions on Tidal here.
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