That date is a guess – I know it was late 1993. Growing up into HM and loud rock, I really quite liked the debut album from Vain. I would have trouble listening to it nowadays, however back in 1989 – their self-titled debut was brimming with loud guitars, and anthemic hook-filled songs. Enough cliché’s for ya ?! Some time passed before the band got around to releasing a follow-up (‘Move On It’)….and it was only available as a Japanese import ! Although the rock scene had shifted greatly since they first hit the scene (hello again Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and all awful guitarists with beards and shorts etc etc), Vain still existed in some form in 1993. Consequently, when I scanned their name in BAM Magazine’s gig guide, I was quite looking forward to a night of beer and loud rock n roll. What I copped however, was a mediocre set of wimpish sounding tunes by a band that seemed uninterested in what they were doing. From memory, not one song – was aired off that first rockin’ LP ! They only played tunes off their new album, which was obviously only available in Japan ! How ridiculous is that ! The songs and the band sucked – it’s as simple as that. Can you imagine if the mighty Rose Tattoo walked in or Malcolm and Angus and they grabbed the guitars and showed em how it was done ! However that did not happen. In reality, this was a band who were caught in a music warp – the cowboy boots (got a horse tethered outside there partner ?), sleaze, ratted hair and cathouse crap may’ve worked in 1987 – but it was now 1993. The evening wasn’t a waste however, as the opening band – Mystery City – were freaking’ great. This all-girl outfit from L.A had some great tunes and I nabbed a demo-tape and t-shirt from them. To think I could’ve seen Ireland’s great Therapy? in a club on that same evening in another part of town, yet I chose to see five chicks er guys posing number nine ! Oh well – some gigs are like that. Some years later I located the elusive second album in Japan and the recorded tunes were just as horrible as they were live. Take solace in the fact that you recorded a memorable debut album and that your star shone for a brief moment – many, many rock bands never achieve that.
Who: VainWhen: San Francisco November 1993