Vains of Jenna – We Can Never Die Vol. 2 (2011, RLS Records)
1. We Can Never Die … 3:39
2. Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead (2010 Mix) … 3:38
3. The Art Of Telling Lies (2010 Mix) … 5:24
4. Better Off Alone (2010 Mix) … 5:52
5. We Can Never Die [long play] … 5:06
6. Better Off Alone (2010 Mix) [radio edit] … 4:17
7. Josephine … 4:37
8. Hey Now … 5:21
9. Fuck You (Acoustic Version) … 3:18
10. She’s Not There (Acoustic Version) … 2:36
11. Jam Jam (Studio Outtakes) … 7:53
Jesse Forte – Vocals
Nicki Kin – Lead Guitar
JP White – Bass
Jacki Stone – Drums
This one totally escaped me in 2011. In 2010 the band released an six-song E.P. called We Can Never Die. That E.P. was meant to introduce fans to new vocalist Jesse Forte with a few re-recordings plus one new track (“We Can Never Die”). I remember that E.P. and remember not picking it up because I wasn’t really interested in re-recordings. In 2011, part two has arrived but instead of an E.P. it’s a full album featuring the We Can Never Die E.P. with five more tracks.
Preceding Reverse Tripped, “We Can Never Die” definitely shows a changed VOJ. It seems with Lizzy DeVine out of the picture, they’ve decided to drop the sleaze rock angle and are really going for more of a trippy/classic/alternative/modern rock mash-up. And I have to admit, it sounds good. Both versions of “We Can Never” sound very good. It’s a weird, trippy classic rock sounding kind of song with still retaining a modern touch.
I find it interesting that they didn’t re-record any of the songs from the Lit Up/Let Down debut but that album was pure sleaze and Forte doesn’t have the sleazy vocals that Lizzy did. According to a recent interview I read with Lizzy, he was the one in the band that was a fan of ’80s rock in the first place while the rest of the band was into ’90s alternative music, so it only makes sense that they are trying to expand their sound now that he’s gone. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with these newer versions, they just aren’t as sleazy and that all comes down to the vocals.
So that gets the original We Can Never Die E.P. out of the way and up next is “Josephine” & “Hey Now”, which are both new acoustic-based songs. Both are good songs that continue to show growth for the band and “Hey Now” reminds me of something Buckcherry might write. Then we have good acoustic versions of Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” and The Zombies’ “She’s Not There”. VOJ’s original cover versions of these two songs appeared on Reverse Tripped. Finally, the album wraps up with a collection of studio outtakes.
Not an essential album by any means but still a cool pick up for anyone who is a fan of Vains of Jenna. Despite their involvement with Bam Margera and Metal Sludge CEO/Tuff front man Stevie Rachelle, the band still seems to remain one of the unsung bands that is keeping that great classic rock vibe alive.
Hopefully in 2012 they’ll cease with the re-recordings and cover songs and give us a brand new studio album and they can pick up some of the buzz they originally had when the first hit the scene.
Highlights: “We Can Never Die”, “Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead (2010 Mix)”, “Better Off Alone (2010 Mix)”, “Hey Now”, “She’s Not There (Acoustic Version”