Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped (2011, Deadline Music)
1. “Fuck You” (Cee Lo Green) … 3:05
2. “Electric Avenue (feat. Frukwan)” (Eddy Grant) … 3:03
3. “Get Back” (The Beatles) … 4:04
4. “Smoke On The Water” (Deep Purple) … 4:51
5. “She’s Not There” (The Zombies) … 2:25
6. “California Dreaming” (The Mamas & The Papas) … 2:34
7. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John) … 3:01
8. “Mississippi Queen” (Mountain) … 2:29
9. “The Letter” (Box Tops) … 2:35
10. “Blowin’ In The Wind” (Bob Dylan) … 5:10
11. “I’d Love To Change The World” (Ten Years After) … 4:08
12. “Hey Hey, My My” (Neil Young) … 4:06
13. “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd) … 4:21
14. “The Sound Of Silence” (Simon and Garfunkel) … 4:37
15. “Forget You” (Cee Lo Green) … 3:04
Jesse Forte – Vocals
Nicki Kin – Guitar, Vocals (“Wish You Were Here”)
J.P. White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums
Frukwan – Rap break (“Electric Avenue”)
Jimmy Wallace – Keyboards (“Get Back”)
Anton Sevholt – Guitar (“Get Back”)
Producer: Adam Hamilton
When I first read VoJ was going to do a covers album, I thought “yeah, okay that’s cool just give us some original music soon”. Luckily, that’s the plan for 2011 with a brand new studio album set to follow Reverse Tripped later in the year. Though I was looking forward to both albums, Reverse Tripped‘s release date somehow slipped by me and Amazon politely reminded me of its existence by recommending it to me.
I didn’t look at the track listing, I just saw the album and said “Yeah! New Vains of Jenna!” and ordered it. It was a nice surprise when I realized the album was the covers album and an even nicer surprise is just how much I love it. Lots of great tunes here that are making me appreciate the originals even more. I must have listened to this album 7 or 8 times since buying it. Just a great summer cruisin’ album much like I thought Def Leppard’s YEAH! covers collection was.
For a sleaze band from Sweden, I’m really surprised by the song choices. I would’ve thought they’d do more ’80s rock/metal with some classic rock thrown in but for the most part they cover ’60s/’70s folk/rockpop acts, which is a cool swerve. “Smoke On The Water” and “Mississippi Queen” are commonly covered but I really like the fact that VoJ made the Deep Purple classic their own… they slowed the song down and that guitar riff is missing. Yes, THAT guitar riff. Who wants to hear that song played straight for the millionth time anyway? Not me. Throwing another curve ball into the mix, the band takes time to cover Cee-Lo Green (in edited and unedited form) and “Electric Avenue”! I guess none of this should be too surprising since on their Facebook page they list their influences as “everything from Elton John to Slayer”.
It’s worth pointing out that this is vocalist Jesse Forte’s debut with the band. Lizzy DeVine left in 2010 and he had a great voice for sleaze but I can’t imagine him pulling off these songs as well as Jesse has. Maybe this album and Forte’s vocals will push the band into less sleazy areas and I’m completely fine with that.
All told, this is a really fun album to listen to. There’s much love and care given to these songs, most don’t stray too far from the originals but at the same time I felt the band made them their own. Well worth picking up especially if you’re already a Vains of Jenna fan.
Highlights: “Fuck You”, “She’s Not There”, “California Dreaming”, “The Letter”, “Blowin’ In the Wind”, “I’d Love to Change The World”, “The Sound Of Silence”