Vain - On the Line

Davy Vain in back. After a hiatus of a decade or more, California's own bare foot Countessa has raised his pouting visage above the musical parapets once more, and one has to question the reason and logic for this emergence from the creative freezer. Fans would no doubt argue that our gallant troubadour had spent the wilderness years gathering stories, penning laments, and twirling his muse. The cynics would reply that, like so many more of rocks nearly men, he has stayed on the bus sufficiently long enough for it to have come full circle and spawned something of a second chance. However, unless you have the magic powers of Aerosmith, second chances are invariably akin to fitting a pacemaker. They may keep you ticking over for that extra few miles but you would be foolish to think your extended lease of life was a rebirth or a new beginning.

Here in 2005 the bus has pulled up at the stop marked Rock and Davy Vain has got off once more. I wonder how the world looks to him? It must be very different to the one that greeted him when he first stepped off in the early nineties. Rock music is a much sleeker beast than it was back then. It has grown several more heads for a start and worships gods of a far more complicated credo than it did fifteen years ago. On the Line sometimes hints at keen observation. It partially suggests that Vain have watched and enjoyed what has happened in the interim; that they have seen it as natural progression and something to be learned from. However, you cannot help feeling that there is something of the Luddite in Davy Vain and that he would like nothing better than to take a hammer to the last dozen years.

On the Line is a good listen. If you are stuck in 1990 you will enjoy it for the nostalgia it effortlessly conjures up. On the other hand, for those who were able to embrace the post Nirvana revolution, it is still registers as a pretty enjoyable album. However, I wouldn't hold my breath for a follow up.

by Alex Carling

Visit the Vain Website