Live And Learn


Demolition, 2007

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


I always kinda liked Vixen. They were certainly easy on the eyes, and there was a certain amount of fun in having a big hair band who actually were a gender normally gifted in the big hair department. However, I can’t say that I ever took them seriously, and I definitely figured they were a brief candle in headbanger history, not even notable enough for a VH-1 “Where Are They Now?” special.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I sure as hell didn’t expect to have one of their CDs -- one of their new CDs -- in my hands at this point in their life. It just goes to show you that the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.

Live And Learn is not quite what I remember Vixen as being. (Mind you, we’re relying on my memory here, and there’s been a lot of time, beer and other substances under the bridge. But I digress.) Far from being metal lite, Live And Learn kind of kicks ass, frankly; there’s an edge to the music that reminds me more of Animate-era Rush or AC/DC  than Warrant in drag. Perhaps it’s inappropriate to say so, but Vixen has developed a big set of cojones, and they’ve got the musical chops to back it up.

There are some softer edges to the CD, but they serve to contrast the more smoking licks, and thankfully the power-ballad vibe is kept to a minimum. (“Give Me Away” comes close, but has a thumping drum line to keep it from being mawkish.) If I have a complaint about Live And Learn, it’s that it’s a little flat; some of the songs start sounding the same after a while, and it’s tough to pick out highlights.

Worth noting, though, are the bitter “Pacifist” and the stomping, crunching “Live And Learn.” The real joy I got out of this, though, was Vixen’s playful, strutting and excellent cover of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City.” Hearing four women yell “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!” with gusto is a surreal experience, but a damned fun one.

Look, this isn’t music that will someday be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But if you’re looking for some old-time hard rock and roll, Live And Learn is a surprisingly fine choice.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Demolition, and is used for informational purposes only.