The Virgins Incite a Ra Ra Riot

February 4th, 2008: As seen on SPIN (PDF)

“All we ever think about is sex / Nothing really matters to me now,” drawled the lips of a leather jacket-clad Donald Cumming and his crew of Virgins. The words came from a new Strokes-type feet-shuffler called “Fast Times,” which lived up to its name in the pit of Chicago’s Schubas venue Friday night (Feb. 1), while a fleet of underage girls teased their hair with one hand and snapped digital mementos with the other.

All five Virgins tracks, with their tales of twenty-something promiscuity and big-city social cliques, flash big neon Strokes-like bulbs (albeit steeped in blues). But now that the full-length record-less quartet has had a little time to brood over what they essentially consider their demos, cuts like “Radio Christiane” and “One Week of Danger” saw some bold new cymbal and guitar fills. Like watching a teenage Stones strut through some half-assed Clash covers, the four also winked in to a funkified new intro of “Rich Girls,” with Cumming confiding to the already hot-stepping crowd, “I’ll tell you everything I know, every little thing I know.” Show headliner Ra Ra Riot was now put in the backseat of a steamy car situation, however the six-piece cunningly etched out a seductive message with a string-driven, Cure-tinged cover of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.” Guess Cumming was right about sex on the brain.

We asked: Word has it that Atlantic skipped the foreplay and signed the Virgins before catching a single performance. Do you have a favorite unsigned band that demands the same kind of love right now?

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