Virgins Revitalize Orlando's Punk Sound



(Kiss of Death)

It seems like just a few months ago, Sam Johnson was wandering around Orlando, telling people that his longtime band, New Mexican Disaster Squad,

was ending, but that he had a new thing cooking -- and maybe this next

band would be recording some demos soon. In actuality, it was just a few months ago, and those soon-to-be demos quickly transmogrified into the debut album from Johnson's new escapade, Virgins. Not to be confused with major-label mallrockers the

Virgins, this Orlando punk outfit is rough and ready, steeped in both

the '80s hardcore roots that defined the sound of New Mexican, but with

a garage-inspired looseness. Johnson's gruffly sung lyrics still sound

like the scribblings of a Reagan-era skater (see: "Atheist in

America"), and the four-on-the-floor rhythm section of drummer Eric

Pitman (Polluted Youth) and bassist Phil Longo (Coun-try Slashers)

easily evoke a timeless punk purity. However, Virgins is a far less

strident affair than New Mexican ever was, and the sound of Miscarriage

is the sound of a band that's close to careening out of control,

unafraid to take their drunken fans with them. That reckless energy

manifests itself in riotous anthems like "Perfect World" and "War

Choppers" that are decidedly unpolished and raw ... just like good punk

rock should be. --Jason Ferguson

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