Vains Of Jenna - Lit Up, Let Down
Filthy Note Records
Sleaze / Hard Rock
10 songs (47:32)
Release year: 2006
Vains Of Jenna, Filthy Note Records
Reviewed by Ross
Surprise of the month
When I first got my hands on Vain Of Jenna’s debut album Lit Up, Let Down I really, really wanted to like it. As a fan of Poison, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith, Hanoi Rocks and Guns ‘n’ Roses (Original line-up), having seen one or two videos of them on You Tube and with them getting a big thumbs-up from ‘Mentalist Bam Margera, who has signed them to his Filthy Note Records, I felt certain Lit Up / Let Down would fully live up to my expectations. Musically they ticked all the boxes; unfortunately they had been let down by less than adequate production.

Let’s face it; the music they’re playing has been around for, like, yonks, so there are no real surprises. What you have is the bastard offspring from an indiscrete coupling between the above mentioned bands and the acorn doesn’t fall very far from that particular tree. However, what they do, they do extremely well. Frontman and guitarist Lizzy DeVine looks and sounds the part, a little strangulated and almost swallowed up by the instruments, which could have been better handled in production, but the 40 a day, burnt out with neat JD sound is there. Other guitarist Nicki Kin powers out some kick-ass solos; in particular the solos in Don’t Give A Damn and No One’s Gonna Do It For You deserve a mention. The rhythm section are brothers JP White on bass with his younger sibling, Jacki Stone, beating the snot out of the drums. Apparently if you sit down with the brothers with a couple of bottles of booze you’ll find out why they have different surnames. Normally I’m all for loads of bass and drums on a record but on Lit Up / Let Down this is quite a serious problem. Bass is dialled up to the point that it smothers a lot of everything else; the drums are muddy, again smothering other stuff, and the ride and hi-hat just seem to go ‘Tssss, Tssss’, there is no clarity.

Another thing that made me feel kinda cheated is the repeat of the last two songs No One’s Gonna Do It For You and Set It Off. Okay, the second two are acoustic versions but to have them played immediately after the electric versions just doesn’t sit right. Had the electric versions been played earlier on in the album and the acoustics at the end, then that might have worked better. Just a minor whine but the addition of the videos No One’s Gonna Do It For You and The Making Of The Video bonuses make up for it.

Apart from the disappointing production Vains Of Jenna have created a sound debut album. There are points in the album where you can tell they’re quite new to the game and written some ‘Music By Numbers’ parts, but these are few and far between and more than compensated for with flashes of brilliant riffage and creative song writing. Having now re-located from their native Finland to Los Angeles I’m sure they are going to get mixed up with all the right people to show them what sex and drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about and we’ll read about at least one of them swimming in his own puke outside ‘Whisky A Go-Go’, or getting a porn star pregnant, or trying to fly out a 10 storey window after a huge cocaine binge. Hey someone’s gotta keep up the bad work so why not them? As long as they produce the goods – go for it; there’s no such thing as bad publicity. And if Lit Up, Let Down is a measure of what they can do, I’ll bet we’re gonna hear a lot about this band for a long time to come.

Listen to some Vains Of Jenna choons at their My Space page, catch some vids over at You Tube, or just find out some shit about them at their Website. At the time of writing, the guys have just come off a gruelling 30 date US tour supporting Cradle Of Filth and Gwar, not exactly matching musical styles but you gotta get out there. If any reader managed to catch one of the shows let us all know what you thought by adding a comment using the link below. Good as they may be on disc, seeing them live will be a whole different ball-game. Hopefully they’ll do a UK tour and I’ll be able to catch one of their shows.
Killing Songs :
All but Don't Give A Damn, Lit Up, Let Down and No One's Gonna Do It For You stand way out!
Ross quoted 83 / 100
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