Category Archives: Vains of Jenna

Vains of Jenna – We Can Never Die Vol. 2

Vains of Jenna – We Can Never Die Vol. 2 (2011, RLS Records)

1. We Can Never Die … 3:39
2. Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead (2010 Mix) … 3:38
3. The Art Of Telling Lies (2010 Mix) … 5:24
4. Better Off Alone (2010 Mix) … 5:52
5. We Can Never Die [long play] … 5:06
6. Better Off Alone (2010 Mix) [radio edit] … 4:17
7. Josephine … 4:37
8. Hey Now … 5:21
9. Fuck You (Acoustic Version) … 3:18
10. She’s Not There (Acoustic Version) … 2:36
11. Jam Jam (Studio Outtakes) … 7:53

Band:
Jesse Forte – Vocals
Nicki Kin – Lead Guitar
JP White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums

This one totally escaped me in 2011. In 2010 the band released an six-song E.P. called We Can Never Die. That E.P. was meant to introduce fans to new vocalist Jesse Forte with a few re-recordings plus one new track (“We Can Never Die”). I remember that E.P. and remember not picking it up because I wasn’t really interested in re-recordings. In 2011, part two has arrived but instead of an E.P. it’s a full album featuring the We Can Never Die E.P. with five more tracks.

Preceding Reverse Tripped, “We Can Never Die” definitely shows a changed VOJ. It seems with Lizzy DeVine out of the picture, they’ve decided to drop the sleaze rock angle and are really going for more of a trippy/classic/alternative/modern rock mash-up. And I have to admit, it sounds good. Both versions of “We Can Never” sound very good. It’s a weird, trippy classic rock sounding kind of song with still retaining a modern touch.

I find it interesting that they didn’t re-record any of the songs from the Lit Up/Let Down debut but that album was pure sleaze and Forte doesn’t have the sleazy vocals that Lizzy did. According to a recent interview I read with Lizzy, he was the one in the band that was a fan of ’80s rock in the first place while the rest of the band was into ’90s alternative music, so it only makes sense that they are trying to expand their sound now that he’s gone. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with these newer versions, they just aren’t as sleazy and that all comes down to the vocals.

So that gets the original We Can Never Die E.P. out of the way and up next is “Josephine” & “Hey Now”, which are both new acoustic-based songs. Both are good songs that continue to show growth for the band and “Hey Now” reminds me of something Buckcherry might write. Then we have good acoustic versions of Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” and The Zombies’ “She’s Not There”. VOJ’s original cover versions of these two songs appeared on Reverse Tripped. Finally, the album wraps up with a collection of studio outtakes.

Not an essential album by any means but still a cool pick up for anyone who is a fan of Vains of Jenna. Despite their involvement with Bam Margera and Metal Sludge CEO/Tuff front man Stevie Rachelle, the band still seems to remain one of the unsung bands that is keeping that great classic rock vibe alive.

Hopefully in 2012 they’ll cease with the re-recordings and cover songs and give us a brand new studio album and they can pick up some of the buzz they originally had when the first hit the scene.

Highlights: “We Can Never Die”, “Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead (2010 Mix)”, “Better Off Alone (2010 Mix)”, “Hey Now”, “She’s Not There (Acoustic Version”

http://www.vainsofjenna.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VAINS-OF-JENNA/77210915994
http://www.myspace.com/vainsofjenna
http://www.twitter.com/vainsofjenna

Buy ‘We Can Never Die Vol. 2’ at Amazon.com

Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped

Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped (2011, Deadline Music)

1. “Fuck You” (Cee Lo Green) … 3:05
2. “Electric Avenue (feat. Frukwan)” (Eddy Grant) … 3:03
3. “Get Back” (The Beatles) … 4:04
4. “Smoke On The Water” (Deep Purple) … 4:51
5. “She’s Not There” (The Zombies) … 2:25
6. “California Dreaming” (The Mamas & The Papas) … 2:34
7. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John) … 3:01
8. “Mississippi Queen” (Mountain) … 2:29
9. “The Letter” (Box Tops) … 2:35
10. “Blowin’ In The Wind” (Bob Dylan) … 5:10
11. “I’d Love To Change The World” (Ten Years After) … 4:08
12. “Hey Hey, My My” (Neil Young) … 4:06
13. “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd) … 4:21
14. “The Sound Of Silence” (Simon and Garfunkel) … 4:37
15. “Forget You” (Cee Lo Green) … 3:04

Band:
Jesse Forte – Vocals
Nicki Kin – Guitar, Vocals (“Wish You Were Here”)
J.P. White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Frukwan – Rap break (“Electric Avenue”)
Jimmy Wallace – Keyboards (“Get Back”)
Anton Sevholt – Guitar (“Get Back”)

Producer: Adam Hamilton

When I first read VoJ was going to do a covers album, I thought “yeah, okay that’s cool just give us some original music soon”. Luckily, that’s the plan for 2011 with a brand new studio album set to follow Reverse Tripped later in the year. Though I was looking forward to both albums, Reverse Tripped‘s release date somehow slipped by me and Amazon politely reminded me of its existence by recommending it to me.

I didn’t look at the track listing, I just saw the album and said “Yeah! New Vains of Jenna!” and ordered it. It was a nice surprise when I realized the album was the covers album and an even nicer surprise is just how much I love it. Lots of great tunes here that are making me appreciate the originals even more. I must have listened to this album 7 or 8 times since buying it. Just a great summer cruisin’ album much like I thought Def Leppard’s YEAH! covers collection was.

For a sleaze band from Sweden, I’m really surprised by the song choices. I would’ve thought they’d do more ’80s rock/metal with some classic rock thrown in but for the most part they cover ’60s/’70s folk/rockpop acts, which is a cool swerve. “Smoke On The Water” and “Mississippi Queen” are commonly covered but I really like the fact that VoJ made the Deep Purple classic their own… they slowed the song down and that guitar riff is missing. Yes, THAT guitar riff. Who wants to hear that song played straight for the millionth time anyway? Not me. Throwing another curve ball into the mix, the band takes time to cover Cee-Lo Green (in edited and unedited form) and “Electric Avenue”! I guess none of this should be too surprising since on their Facebook page they list their influences as “everything from Elton John to Slayer”.

It’s worth pointing out that this is vocalist Jesse Forte’s debut with the band. Lizzy DeVine left in 2010 and he had a great voice for sleaze but I can’t imagine him pulling off these songs as well as Jesse has. Maybe this album and Forte’s vocals will push the band into less sleazy areas and I’m completely fine with that.

All told, this is a really fun album to listen to. There’s much love and care given to these songs, most don’t stray too far from the originals but at the same time I felt the band made them their own. Well worth picking up especially if you’re already a Vains of Jenna fan.

Highlights: “Fuck You”, “She’s Not There”, “California Dreaming”, “The Letter”, “Blowin’ In the Wind”, “I’d Love to Change The World”, “The Sound Of Silence”

http://www.vainsofjenna.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VAINS-OF-JENNA/77210915994
http://www.myspace.com/vainsofjenna

VAINS OF JENNA – The Art of Telling Lies

Vains of Jenna – The Art of Telling Lies (2009, RLS Records/Raw Noise Records)

1. “Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead” … 3:38
2. “Mind Pollution” … 3:23
3. “Refugee” … 3:33
4. “I Belong To Yesterday” … 4:19
5. “Paper Heart” … 6:17
6. “Get It On” … 3:06
7. “Enemy In Me” … 4:02
8. “Better Off Alone” … 5:30
9. “I Don’t Care” … 4:10
10. “The Art of Telling Lies” … 5:58

Band:
Lizzy DeVine – Vocals, Guitar
Nicki Kin – Lead Guitar
JP White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums

Producer: Brent Woods

One of Sweden’s best sleaze acts is back and with this album, I think they may have proven they are the kings of sleaze! This album was top priority for me once I discovered the band was readying a new release and as luck would have it, the album found its way to me all due to none other than Stevie Rachelle (Metal Sludge CEO/front man for Tuff), who is now managing the band (thanks again Stevie!) .

Lit Up/Let Down was one of the 2006’s best surprises and The Art of Telling Lies is shaping up to be one of 2009’s best releases. I’m liking it more and more with each spin. The band is still firmly in the sleaze category, but the hooks and melodies are even better this time around.

The album isn’t as raw or as brash as their debut, but the songwriting has really improved with songs like “Paper Heart”, “Enemy In Me” and “The Art of Telling Lies”. The songs are allowed to breathe and it is a definite improvement over their very good debut. Also, there’s a great cover of Tom Petty’s “Refugee”. It caught me off guard at first to hear VoJ covering Tom Petty, but it works really well.

The band opened for Poison and Ratt in 2007 and with a couple of more solid touring gigs like that, they could really start to break. They definitely deserve it, so if you’re not familiar with the band, GET familiar with the band and support one of rock ‘n’ roll’s best kept secrets!

Highlights: “Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead”, “Mind Pollution”, “Refugee”, “Paper Heart”, “Enemy In Me”, “I Don’t Care”, “The Art of Telling Lies”

www.vainsofjenna.com

VAINS OF JENNA – Lit Up/Let Down

Vains of Jenna – Lit Up/Let Down (2006, Filthy Note Records)

1. “Don’t Give a Damn” … 5:49
2. “Ceased Emotions” … 3:22
3. “Hard to Be Vain” … 4:53
4. “Lit Up/Let Down” … 5:42
5. “Get on the Ride” … 4:27
6. “Baby’s Got a Secret” … 3:55
7. “No One’s Gonna Do It for You” … 3:12
8. “Set It Off” … 6:28
9. “No One’s Gonna Do It for You (Acoustic)” … 3:21
10. “Set It Off (Acoustic)” … 6:23

Band:
Lizzy DeVine – Vocals, Guitar
Nicki Kin – Guitar
JP White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums

Produced by: Bam Margera

Vains of Jenna are one of the better bands to come from the Sweden glam/sleaze scene and were the first band that made me take notice of that whole scene going on over there. This album is good time sleazy ‘n’ dirty rock and Lizzy DeVine’s vocals are a perfect fit and never comes across as too European sounding, as some European glam/sleaze singers do.

My only beef is the inclusion of the two acoustic versions of “No One’s Gonna Do It for You” and “Set It Off”. There’s nothing wrong with the acoustic versions, but it just seems a little silly to include those on a 10-track album. I would’ve rather heard two different songs instead of them already digging into doing alternate versions on such a short album. “Lit Up/Let Down” is easily the best track, a great mid-tempo ballad.

I don’t really care for Bam Margera, but kudos to him for seeing the talent in these guys and signing them to his indie label. These guys would’ve had a decent career in the late 80s.

Highlights: “Don’t Give a Damn”, “Ceased Emotions”, “Lit Up/Let Down”, “”Hard to Be Vain”,  “Set It Off”

www.vainsofjenna.com
www.myspace.com/vainsofjenna

%d bloggers like this: