Vain - Rolling With The Punches album review

A throbbing glam/sleaze/ melodic rock masterclass

Cover art for Vain - Rolling With The Punches album

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After supporting Skid Row on a tour that saw Robert Plant grace their Hammersmith Odeon dressing room to issue kind words and having garnered across-the-board praise for a scorching debut entitled No Respect, back in 1989 Vain could have been forgiven for assuming the big time was around the corner.

Regrettably, when Island Records changed hands a followup got shelved and everything turned to shit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that same outcome awaited Road Crew, a group that frontman Davy Vain formed with Steven Adler, but Vain (the band) reunited in 1993 and the San Franciscans have continued to release new music.

Album number seven, Rolling With The Punches embodies their stubborn sleaziness and is without doubt the best thing they’ve done since the debut. Davy’s sinewy delivery hasn’t aged and its tunes are in your face, hook-laden, libido-charged and filler-free.

No Respect? It’s about time Vain finally had some.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.