The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






1. Fuck You (Cee Lo Green Cover)
2. Electric Avenue (feat. Frukwan) (Eddy Grant Cover)
3. Get Back (The Beatles Cover)
4. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple Cover)
5. She’s Not There (The Zombies Cover)
6. California Dreaming (The Mamas & the Papas Cover)
7. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John Cover)
8. Mississippi Queen (Mountain Cover)
9. The Letter (Box Tops Cover)
10. Blowin’ In The Wind (Bob Dylan Cover)
11. I’d Love To Change The World (Ten Years After Cover)
12. Hey Hey, My My (Neil Young Cover)
13. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd Cover)
14. The Sound Of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel Cover)
15. Forget You (Cee Lo Green Cover)


I’ve always been a fan of Vains, dating back to the raw sleaze of the demos and the first CD they really had something and over the last few years that ‘something’ has been refined and moulded to the point that the band we see today is not the band I saw at the Whisky a few years back.


Today’s Vains is a better band, there’s more depth and feel to the songs and Nicky especially has progressed in leaps and bounds as a songwriter.


It comes as s surprise therefore that the new release is a covers album. Love them or hate them, covers albums are increasingly part of the musical landscape and to be honest, for me it’s rare that I get too much out of them. This though is different: for a start the track-listing not just a bunch of rock standards covered by a hundred bands before. In the main there’s a really mellow vibe amongst the selections and a few surprises too.


Some of the songs are remarkable: I love the opening song ‘Fuck You’ a cover of the Cee Lo Green song (but thought that ‘Forget You’ effectively a clean version of the same, that closes the album was overkill). There are plenty of other cool tunes there in the grooves, a lot of real laid back stuff that really sits the band: like The Mamas and the Papas, a little Elton John, Simon and Garfunkle and the Box Tops; all played beautifully. Even the slightly left field cover of Eddie Grant’s Electric Avenue hits a homer!


The real gem though for me is ‘Smoke on the Water’ where Vains has taken a true classic and completely put their own stamp on it. It’s a masterstroke to take such a hugely recognisable song and transform it completely and for me it works so well that I’m a little disappointed that the rest of the covers are fairly ‘straight’ in comparison. 


We get a fantastic version of ‘Hey Hey My My’ by Neil Young that reminds us, if we needed to be reminded, what a great songwriter he is, and how wisely Vains has chosen the covere here. To also get a nice original take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowing in the Wind’ is really cool. Again here they try something different and it really does work for them. I can see that going off live!


It's also great to also see covers of two really cool bands: Ten Years After, who is very sadly often overlooked these days and Mountain who did plenty more worth checking out than the fairly ubiquitous (though still a great song of course) ‘Mississippi Queen’ we get here.  


I know you will enjoy this one and it’s not made it out of my player since it hit the desk. Can't wait for the next chapter!


By Mark Diggins