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Vains of Jenna Lit Up/Let Down

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Sunday, January 14, 2007 @ 10:16 AM

On Filthy Note Records

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Do you remember when music was all about having a good time, and meant to be played loud? Vains of Jenna are a new band to emerge out of Sweden, and have captured all the intensity of the 80's on their debut album, Lit Up/Let Down on Filthy Note Records.

Although the oldest band member is only 25, and has never lived in the heyday of 80's Metal Mania, Vains of Jenna are bringing back that sleaze/glam sound with their punkish metal debut.

Lit Up/Let Down captures the raw intensity that transpired on Sunset Strip back in the 80's. Lead singer Lizzy Devine reminds me a lot of a young Joe LeSte of Bang Tango and Axl Rose with his punk metal like vocals that spurt out catchy words that tell the story of lost love, living life on the edge, and what it really like to be a rising star trying to make it big in a city that is full of aspiring musicians.

The opening track, ”Don't Give A Damn" sets the theme for the entire album with its blistering guitar riffs, punkish vocals, and infectious drumbeats. Second track, ”Ceased Emotions" recaptures the old school sound of Faster Pussycat, and Bang Tango.

The guitar work of Nicki Kin is impressive, as it resembles the early Sex Pistols meets Nirvana. Nicki unleashes catchy guitar riffs that fuel the backbone of Lit Up/Let Down. Combined with the energetic vocals of Devine, and hard hitting rhythm section of drummer Jacki Stone, and bassist JP White, Vains of Jenna incorporate an 80's metal sound with a new vibrant approach to metal.

Highlights of Lit Up/Let Down include the title track, where Lizzy yells, “Been lit up and let down, always in the same old' mood, Dressed in black I'm walking the line". The song infuses haunting guitar melodies with a great acoustic guitar intro, and vocals that are melodic and sultry.

"Hard To be Vain" deals with broken love, and a girl's addiction to cocaine. This song has Bang Tango guitar licks written all over it.

The interesting concept of this album is that it deals with life on the road, and relationships. The lyrics are real and honest, nothing fake or pretentious here. Vains of Jenna tell it like it is, and don't hold back. Lit Up/Let Down captures the raw, honest vibe that surrounds the band. It is refreshing to see a band that it in their prime, and hasn't become jaded yet.

Two words that best describe Lit Up/Let Down are raw, and volatile! The song, ”Get On the Ride" has pulverizing vocals, and heavy guitar riffs that scram out at you. "No One's Gonna Do It For You" is all about the party and the girls. The band has also made a video to this song. I can't wait to see it. Lizzy told me it was so much fun making the video.

"Set It Off" has all the relics of a Ramones and Sex Pistols anthem with it's fast lyrics, and upbeat tempo.

One of the highlights that really stand out on the entire album is the acoustic remake of the last two songs, ”No One's Gonna Do it", and "Set It Off" acoustically. The band is pulling a Skid Row trick here, taking the revved up version of the last two songs and repeating them with an acoustic guitar version. Vains of Jenna show showcase their softer side with great acoustic guitar work, with the sultry, vocals of Lizzy Devine. Actually, I like the slower versions much better, than the faster up-tempo version. It gives the band depth as songwriters, and showcases the strength of their songwriting ability.

Devine describes the album as, “If you like GN’R, Aerosmith, Faster Pussycat you need to get this. It is sleazy and kick ass. I usually don't listen to my own recordings but I can't stop listening to this."

Lit Up/Let Down captures all the elements of the Glam/Sleaze 80's Sunset Strip sound, and takes their trashy metal roots to a new level that is filled with high-energy power packed songs. Vains of Jenna hope to re-kindle a sound that resembles the heyday of 80's metal, and add their own special unique flair to make Lit Up/Let Down one of the most exciting albums of 2006.

The metal scene has been looking for a band to generate the raw, sleazy Glam-metal sound that once made the 80's famous. I think they may have found it with Vains of Jenna. Oh, and did I mention the girls love them too! If you live for 80's metal, you will love Vains of Jenna. Check out Lit Up/Let Down, and return to a time when metal knew no boundaries, and rules were meant to be broken! In a bold new statement from Vains of Jenna. Track Listing:

  • Don't Give A Damn
  • Ceased Emotions
  • Hard To Be Vain
  • Lit Up/Let Down
  • Get On The Ride
  • Baby's Got A Secret
  • Noone's Gonna Do It For You
  • Set It Off
  • Noone's Gonna Do It For You (Acoustic)
  • Set It Off (Acoustic)

To purchase a copy of Lit Up/Let Down from KNAC.COM, click here.

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