VAIN – On The Line

VAIN - On The Line


Perris Records
Release date: May 21, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Back to retro land you go … Davy Vain and his band Vain are back on the scene, taking their shot at the “Let’s get the original line-up back together”-game, waiting to see if Joe Public is still interested. In most cases, this whole original lineup scenario is just a lame excuse to cash up on early days. How many bands can you name that have released worthwhile albums after getting back together as their original line-up?

In all fairness, it has to be said that Vain has come up with a pretty decent sounding record, and they should also get some credit for not including any embarrassing, updated versions of their early classics. Now don’t go tearing your hair out if you can’t recall ever hearing from Davy and his band Vain. Back in the late 80’s, they released their now cult status debut album, No Respect, and at the time had the Metal press and fans alike eating out of their hands … and then nothing. Back then, Vain was the cross between Guns ’N’ Roses and Poison. They had the looks, the right kind of attitude, and cool songs. They were even signed to a major label, but after that promising debut, they just disappeared from the public eye. Most likely they got run over by that train called Grunge as did so many other Glam and Sleaze Rock bands.

Well, like in fashion, if you wait long enough and stay true to your style, you’ll most likely see a day when you find yourself in style again … at least that’s what most people tell themselves, right?

That’s probably what Davy and his cohorts must have thought, since listening to On the Line takes you back to those golden years of the L.A. Rock scene. Teased up hair, lipstick, and mascara. Throw in a few Gibson’s, cowbells and tambourines, and a couple of screams and you got yourself a genuine Hair Metal revival. Never mind that Vain is originally from San Francisco. That just leaves all the more love to be spread around.

The love it or loathe it aspect of Vain comes in the form of vocalist Davy Vain’s vibrating, lazy-yet-arrogant purr that will, in girly talk, either make you wanna throw your panties at him, or kick him out of your bed and fast. That’s how well he has that Rock Star act down.

Musically Vain is still sticking to their early roots of Glam/Sleaze Rock, but have toned down the Sleaze part a bit. The album is divided into half fast-tempo songs and half slow, ballad-like tunes. The epic ballad “Turned to Sand” is nearly 7-minutes long, and has Davy showcasing his nasal, lazy, early-Bono sounding, restrained vocals, while the rest of the band introduces their ability to groove with a light touch.

On the Line starts explosively enough with “Running on Empty,” and the title track “On the Line” continues with that kickass groove, but the slower tunes like “Drag Me,” “Last Sin,” and even “Turned to Sand” all suffer from that, for a lack of a better comparison, “love to stare at myself in the mirror” attitude by vocalist Davy Vain. If you can get past that arrogant Rock Star approach, then Vain sure does deliver catchy, if somewhat indie-influenced, Sleaze Rock tunes in bundles.


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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