Image © Demolition Records 2006
Image © Demolition Records 2006
(03 February 2007) Vixen has been described as the "Queens of Metal" and the "female Bon Jovi." They have had classic hits like "Edge of a Broken Heart" and "Love is a Killer" that have staked their claim in the rock charts. Live & Learn is Vixen's first new studio release in about ten years. This all-female heavy metal band came to recognition in the 1980s and with many line-up changes, has continued to be a fixture in the heavy metal rock scene. Enthusiasts of Antigone Rising (review) should check out Vixen.
Guitarist Jan Kuehnemund is the only remaining original member of Vixen. The other new members of Vixen are vocalist Jenna Sanz-Agero, bassist Lynn Louise Lowrey, and drummer Kat Kraft. Jan founded Vixen in Minnesota and landed up in LA in the mid
80's where the original group performed gigs and built up their reputation with a strong following. The group had two albums, Vixen and Rev It Up and signed a record deal with EMI. In 1991, Vixen broke up. The band later reformed in 2001 and suffered line-up changes during middle of the Voices of Metal Tour with Vince Neil of Motley Crue. Vixen sorted themselves out and eventually formed the solid current line-up. Vixen's latest studio album Live & Learn was released by Demolition Records in Europe in November 2006, and in the U.S. in January 2007.
The band's influences include Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Grace Slick, Kate Bush, Chrissie Hynde, Tina Turner, Aerosmith, The Beatles, The Stones, and Led Zeppelin. Their sound takes the listener back in time to the 1980s. When Vixen was recording the new album, they went over to Europe to field their music and see the response. The group's music was well received and resulted in the band's first live album and DVD at their stage headlining show at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2005. The live album was released in the US by Sony/BMG in July, 2006 and will be released in Europe in 2007.
Jenna Sanz-Agero said, "After the Voices of Metal tour, we spent the next four years writing and rehearsing. We recorded a demo of six songs, five of which ended up on the new album. With a whole new lineup, new songs, new look, and a new sound, we spent those few years reconfiguring our entire 'team' so that when we were ready, the fans would be happy with what we brought to the table."
In 2005, Vixen began working on their recording at the Bull Dog Den Studio in Eagle Rock, California. The recording was completed in May, 2006, due to the band's tour schedule in between the sessions. Live & Learn was produced, engineered, and mixed by Dennis MacKay, who also engineered Rev It Up. The album was mixed at the Bulldog Den and
mastered by Brian Gardner of Bernie Grundman Mastering.
The current album includes eleven new songs as well as a cover of David Bowie's "Suffragette City." The women don't miss a beat with bringing back the 80's sound with their title track and Jenna's Stevie Nicks assimilation in "Don't Want It
Anymore." "On the surface, the lyrics might seem pretty dark, but there is a lot of irony and sarcasm involved in the way they're delivered, so most of it is about empowerment rather than settling into a victim role," said Jenna. "We've all experienced some heavy stuff--it's about what you do with it."
Although Live & Learn differs from Vixen's earlier hit albums, their evolution hasn't spoiled their marked impression on the heavy metal rock scene of today. They embrace their sound and come across with some stellar
songs with wonderful harmonies. Vixen delivers a good album and they continue to be successful in this tough business.--Audrey Elliot in New York