ROCKTOBERFEST: A Most Excellent Countdown of the 31 Most Bitchin Glam Metal Albums
#20 Vain – No Respect (Released 1989)
Davy Vain– Vocals
James Scott - Guitar
Danny West – Guitar
Ashley Mitchell - Bass
Tom Rickard - Drums
The Great Sleaze Cult
I do not know much about Vain as they are one the most underground bands to appear on the list. They have a cult following among sleaze rockers and glam metalheads, which piqued my curiosity. At first Vain’s high-pitch whine was a bit off-putting, but there was something hypnotic about it. The more I listened the more I became entranced by the sonic and lyrical hooks. Once I moved past the singles, I discovered a very unique sounding glam bands that had very plodding, dark riffs matched by edgy, introspective lyrics. However, there is such an urgency and raw sexual energy in Davy’s voice that the album quickly becomes quickly addictive. The rawness of Vain contrasted greatly with pop-sheen of the late 80’s glam bands such as Poison and Warrant. The hyper-sexual bombast of gang-voclas and big grooving, rumbling rhythm sections were still present. This album deserves all the praise heaped upon it and it is truly a lost gem from the 1980’s.
The album kicks off with the burner, Secrets¸ a speed metal track that introduces the band ready to rock with big hooks and fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll. While most of the songs take on a very sludgy speed, this one while more up-tempo still has that raw guitar tone that matches the urgency of Davy’s vocals. Immediately, the very polarizing vocals of Davy Vain are on display and I highly suggest you give the track and the album as a whole a couple spins.
The lead single off the album was Beat The Bullet, which is a great melodic metal song that makes no friggin sense, but who gives a fuck because this song rocks. Davy keeps sneering over and over “I get down on my knees hoping that I beat the bullet”, I keep thinking that is all about pulling out before injecting some his special crème-filling into some chick’s poontang pie. How come is he is on HIS knees though? Is attempting to avoid getting a heaping helping of pussy juices on his face? So many questions, so little answers, but all this just adds to the mystique of Vain.
In exciting news a high-quality version of the single, Who’s Watchin You, an exciting song about voyeurism and exhibitionism, this is actually an under-explored fetish in the world of glam metal. You would think in all the hyper-sexuality of glam metal that these would be common tropes, but nope instead Vain was breaking new ground here as they would with next song.
The title track from No Respect is what sold me on this band. I know that I have a reputation of speaking in hyperbole, but I am being absolutely serious when I saw this is one of the most perfect glam metal songs of all time. Lyrically, it explores the turning point of hypersexuality when the man becomes emasculated and a slave to the love of the woman. This is not just some insatiable woman that will tear you to shreds. This is a woman that he loves, but has been rejected and needs that one last taste of love. In this macho genr,e where all woman want to fuck the bejeezus out of these guys, this is a refreshing change. Even in the power ballads, the men are still very much in control and No Respect is about a man whose confidence has been shattered and left without self-respect. Vain’s vocals are perfect for this sleazy opus that requires urgency and a seduction. I love the dynamics of this song so much that make for a great hook to release all that pent-up energy in the chorus, which is incredibly catchy. The main riff is a great piece of Ratt-esque staccato riffing. Do yourself a favor and go ahead listen to this song have I ever led you astray.
Vain, originally from Thrash haven of the Bay Area, fashioned a raw piece of sleaze rock that has been heralded as a cult classic should be listened to by fans that want to explore beyond the mainstream pop metal of the late 80’s and are interested in some dirty, filthy rock ‘n’ roll. The most anticipated release of this year, personally, is Vain’s Enough Rope, which drops Rocktober the 28th. The aptly named debut album, No Respect, may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, but for those have had the pleasure to listen to it, it is the induction to the very insular community of sleaze.