It’s 1989. And a record called “No Respect” has just been released.

It was the vehicle for a San Francisco-based record producer named Davy Vain to explore his sleazy side (he’d produced the first Death Angel record).

Vain, for that was the name of the band, should have been as big as anyone in the glam rock era.

It feels like I am damning it with faint praise to say that “No Respect” is something of a lost classic. It is though. It is a wonderful record. One I still listen to a lot today.

Now Vain are back. With “Disintegrate Together” specifically, their first record for six years. That’s the broad facts of it, but the phrase “Vain are back” is doing more heavy lifting there, because it’s the most sleazy they’ve sounded for about 35 years.

“Cold Like Snow” proves it. It’d fit right in on the debut. That it’s not even close to being the best thing here, is a testament to the quality.

The enjoyment of the whole thing comes over in the lead guitar on “Don’t You Think”. This definitely didn’t wash it’s hands for 30 seconds in the pandemic, and it is not an exaggeration to say “You Better Keep An Eye On That Girl” might be the best thing they’ve ever done. Genuinely brilliant and the way Vain spits “You never even made it big in Japan” is glorious.

The slower ones like “The Flowers” still sound filthy – listen to the bass and tell me it’s not made for the pole in a strip club – and “Holding On For Love” sounds like love is the last thing it actually wants.

In short – and thus the next 200 words are superfluous – it sounds like Vain are back. “Can’t You See Me Floating” is a bit of a departure into Stereophonics -type arena rock, while “Back In ’89”  makes its symbolism so obvious that you can’t miss it.

Right down in the deep cuts there’s a song here called “KC Swinger” and it sounds exactly likw what a song called “KC Swinger” should sound like on a record like this one. This really sensational stuff.

“Pictures Of You In Red” maintains the energy – and does so brilliantly –  before the title track does give us a ballad, but one that sounds like they used to, not how they do now.

That’s the skill of this. It’s a return to the old days, but not in a dated way. It’s like a window into the music we loved in the late 80s (as far as I can tell it’s not on any streaming services as if to underline that) and sounds as dangerous as it ever did.

The record company are claiming it’s the best record of Vain’s career (as I suppose they sort of have to?) it’s not. But “Disintegrate Together” is pretty damn close. Give Vain the ….urmmm….respect they deserve.

Rating 9/10

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