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Future Virgins - Western Problems [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Future Virgins

Future Virgins: Western Problems [12-inch]Western Problems [12-inch] (2011)
Starcleaner / Plan-It-X South

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: DarrenMcLeodDarrenMcLeod
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There are some bands you just can't stop hearing about on the 'Org. Whether it's due to news posts about music videos and streaming music or just an unending string of comments in Navel Gazing about a band's release being the best of the year, there are some names you just can't escape. On the ot.
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There are some bands you just can't stop hearing about on the 'Org. Whether it's due to news posts about music videos and streaming music or just an unending string of comments in Navel Gazing about a band's release being the best of the year, there are some names you just can't escape.

On the other hand, there's Future Virgins, a band that has not only eluded mention in news posts and comments on the 'Org, but just about everywhere else on the Internet as well. It seems like the band prefers it this way, with no MySpace, no Twitter, and no Facebook-I had to email their label just to get any sort of information on the group or this release. However, I'm not sure a secret this good can be kept for long.

Western Problems is the band's first LP after a trio of EPs and a split, and it's a gem of a debut full-length. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based band plays a raw, high-energy brand of scratchy-voiced pop-punk with a hint of old-school garage rock influence. While any mention of "pop-punk with scratchy vocals" undoubtedly brings to mind a wave of bands that are starting to sound somewhat the same, Future Virgins shouldn't be lumped together with those bands-they simply sound nothing like them. Rather, Future Virgins' old-school influences help them retain a distinct sound that is simply more fun and danceable than their contemporaries.

The disc opens strong with "No Echo", which begins with a catchy guitar riff that hints at power-pop before the rest of the band kicks in with a punk fervor you weren't expecting. As the song moves past its catchy, danceable chorus and into a guitar solo, you start to get an idea of the incredible energy that plays a prominent role on the album's 13 tracks. If there's a complaint to be had with the album, it's that the second half doesn't match the quality of the first. To be fair, that's more of a compliment to the spectacular first half than it is a complaint about the still-above-average second half, but it's still unfortunate that it hits a brief lull.

The album's lyrics are just as sharp as its songs, and for all of the self-deprecating or angry moments, there's an enduring sense of optimism to be found on Western Problems. The sense of optimism is never more present than on the disc's stellar closing track, the appropriately titled "Positive Jam", where the band reminds listeners that it's not God-given talent that is required to make music, but time, effort, and energy: "I don't know talent, just action. I ain't seen genius, I've just seen passion. And there's no gifts from heaven, and there's no point in waiting for some kind of lesson. It's time you start creating anything you want that's in your heart." It's a great lyric, and one applicable to all of life's pursuits, not just music.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jizzo (November 10, 2011)

This album is an absolute punch to the gut! I have it on my ipod for the gym and it suffices cuz its great workout music, but make no mistake about it, its so meant to heard on vinyl! Makes me wonder? How are these guys so god dam great and yet so unknown? I guess thats a good thing and thats the way they would like to keep it..

hobbzoid (September 7, 2011)

i designed this LP art. I love this record. Great dudes.

ToddRundgren (September 7, 2011)

This record is amazing. Still one of the best of the year. The people of the Org tends to neglect a lot of the more DIY punk rock bands. Chattanooga has some of the best shit going on today. Future Virgins, Hidden Spots, ADD/C and Rowdy Downstairs are all awesome bands. I think the problem is they don't tour much outside of their area. They don't call them "region rock" for nothing, I guess.

carlo_cabinetti (September 7, 2011)

Saw these at Fest a few years ago, the bassist was one of the drunkest people I have ever seen stand up, let alone play. They were awesome nevertheless.

Wyld_stallyns_rule (September 6, 2011)

This is a mighty fine record.

sketchyjoe (September 6, 2011)

Their three seven inches were all perfect and this isn't quite as good as any of them but it's still a solid record from a really good band that deserve more attention than they get.

MN_DrNick (September 6, 2011)

A buddy of mine working at a record shop recommended this to me. Excellent record.

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