An excellent introduction album fr...m these guys...i'm no music buff so you'll have to use some of the more intelligent reviews for a descriptive review...all i can say is that i saw this band at hyde park and they were great...the album is just as good
This album takes me back to when British rock was great. The leads voice is rustic with a bluesy tone. The guys are energenic and put on a great gig. The album is amazing and I love the accoustic version, worth every penny!
This is quite simply the finest rock album i've heard since Radiohead's 'OK Computer'. King Of Conflict is 50 minutes of foot tapping, fist pumping energy wrapped up in 12 excellent songs (and one bonus track). The Virginmarys have attracted much admiration for their live performances and producer Toby Jepson has tried to encapsulate that on this record. There is very little studio wizardry here, its largely just 3 instruments and some powerful vocals. But boy do those instruments create some noise. Matt Rose's bass playing is sublime, but Danny Dolan's drumming has to be heard to be believed. In any other band he would be the star of the show but when you have a guitarist as talented as Ally Dickaty it must be pretty hard to get yourself noticed. For those looking for a rock album full of riffs, licks, and solo's get downloading this straight away. Indeed the solo on album closer 'Ends Don't Mend' wouldn't be out of place on a Zeppelin or Pink Floyd record. And Ally's talents don't end with his guitar playing. This album has some great lyrics. It's the usual rock staple of love gone wrong, drugs, and drunkenness, but far superior to most other bands offerings.
Amongst all this praise i must balance it out with some criticism. 5 of the songs have appeared previously on various EP's and some songs (Out Of Mind/Lost Weekend) sound like Oasis era rock, and although certainly not bad they are notably the weaker tracks on the album. In fact almost all the songs follow the verse-chorus 3-4 minute cliche, it would have been nice to have this broken up with some more experimental, less formulaic songs (e.g.) Nothin To Lose or Satellite. Also Dickaty is such a good guitarist that you want him to break out and play a solo for a minute or two (Jimmy Page style). Arguably their 3 best songs (Soul Vampire/Silence/Brothers) have also missed the cut. I hope this is because they are being saved for their next album and they haven't been forgotten about (the fact that 2 of those songs have large acoustic parts could be a reason why they haven't been included here). And finally, why do bands add secret tracks on to the end of albums? all it means is at the end of the final song you get 3 minutes of silence before another song starts, and although the song is pretty good (Stripped) its been released before so is pretty pointless.
All in all tho this is a fantastic record that must be heard. Buy it instantly, play it loud, annoy the neighbours, then play it again. Finally there is a rock band to get excited about again.
Best Songs: Portrait Of Red, Dressed To Kill, Ends Don't Mend