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Shane Vain & the Village Vandals 

Win, Lose or Draw
(www.myspace.com/villagevandals)

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On Win, Lose, or Draw, Shane Vain & the Village Vandals downplay their punk, emphasizing gutter rockabilly instead. "One More Day" is the kind of traditional spiritual Johnny Cash would've dusted off and spruced up -- but he wouldn't have Vandalized it. After delivering the first verse like a backwoods hymn, Vain lets rip an overdriven electric guitar.

Vain and company recorded several authentic originals; "The Real Deal" swings and jumps like a juke-joint standard from the '50s. But after that, the covers keep a-coming. In addition to a punchy take on Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," which complements the tattoo-like illustrations of aces and dice on the CD's cover, the Village Vandals break out the Animal House soundtrack. The group drops an electrifying but reverent version of "Wonderful World," Sam Cooke's "don't know much about biology" song. "Unfinished Business," meanwhile, darts through "Shama Lama Ding Dong," the Otis Day classic. And like Day, Vain'll make you want to shout as well.

Speaking of CD Review

More by D.X. Ferris

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