Donnie Vie
Wrapped Around My Middle Finger

1. Wrapped Around My Middle Finger
2. Wunderland
3. Lisa
4. Daddy’s Girl
5. Now Ya Know
6. No Escape
7. Lil’ Wonder
8. Flames Of Love
9. Rattle On
10. I Won’t Let You Down
11. Smokin’ Hot Lollipop

Donnie - Vox, Guitar, Piano
Randi - Drums, Vox
Jimmy - Lead Guitar, Vox
Patrick - Bass, Vox

Just Enough (2003)
Baby Pictures (DVD 2006)
Dvied & E.P. (2006)
Extra Strength (2007)

Kip Winger (Vocals on 5)

Brendan Duffey (engineer & master)
Recorded at Soulmix Studios by Renato Napty & Transient Studio by Matheus Armelin

Released 27/2-2012
Reviewed 21/8-2012

cargo music

With this album, Donnie Vie makes an album suited for illusionists and magicians and I can almost imagine Mr Vie as a man in high hat, standing in front of us with a strange colourful jacket, face covered in an oddly shaved hairiness - like a twirled mustache or pointy beard (or both) - and trousers that just can't match the jacket no matter how you look. The second songs is about Caterpillars and a wonderland so weird that he must have taken a whole box of LSD before writing it, and strangely this still feels like the best it gets with this album. I think Wunderland might be the highpoint of this album, not the best song but still the highpoint despite being stranger than a Tim Burton movie.

'Wrapped Around My Middle Finger' gives us tunes of the 70's, pure hard rock, mystical Faith No More-ish tunes as well as acoustic ballads. The structure of the album is as clear as a glass filled with muddy water, mixed with some grass, stones and a handful of weed. I can't really get my head around this album because while I mostly feel it's quite painful to play through, I still think it's pretty good and often I feel both of these things at the same time.

The album is very varied and mad, ingenious and clever but crazy and still not really original anywhere. I can honestly say I've never heard an album like this, but still the songs all feels familiar somehow and it's pretty hard to describe the album due to the many different paths it takes over the 11 songs and 45 minutes but overall it has a bit of a 70's feel over it (yet somehow still not entirely) and while the production feels quite cheap and down to earth, I get the feeling that it's what they wanted it to sound like and not a result of a half done job. One almost get the feeling that Donnie still thinks he's in the 80's, inspired by the many faces of the Woodstock festival (as well as the many substances) and that's why 'Wrapped Around My Middle Finger' sounds the way it does.

If you're a person that, like me, are to young to remember when Donnie Vie had his breakthrough in the mid 80's I can blow the gaff about his two hit songs with the band Enuff Z' Nuff. However, by the mid 90's the interest for the band had decreased to being far from the circulation in popular culture and despite having somewhat of a cult surrounding in the US among those who "were there when it happened", most of the world has been pretty ignorant about their very existence. I'm not talking solely from my own experience when I say that because I've done my research and I'm not the only one who hadn't heard of either Mr Vie or his band and the funny thing is that it seems to be a pretty common phenomena even among us writing about rock and hard rock despite his 16 international releases and the fact that the last Enuff Z' Nuff album was released as late as 2010.

The quality of the songs on 'Wrapped Around My Middle Finger' is pretty good, they have a few songs with both "hit" potential, "wow" potential and ingredients that shows real quality. It's just somewhat of a shame that the best vocal performance isn't presented by Donnie Vie himself but the guest Kip Winger on the track Now Ya Know, which also probably is the best of the lot. Sure, Donnie has his good moments too, but his performance only gives him the silver and the bronze. However, I can't say I find too much to complain about anywhere on this album and overall they maintain a high standard, although I'm not really searching through my stock of superlatives and celebrations too much either.

The conclusion of this experience with 'Wrapped Around My Middle Finger' is that it's an album with great variation, plenty of good stuff and mixed content but never really losing any quality. I think that anyone and everyone who likes Mr Vie and his Enuff-stuff won't be disappointed if you check it out. If you haven't heard Mr Vie or the things he's done, here are a couple of things you probably need to be/have if you're to like this album:
a) a wizard
b) a goatee or some other kind of strange beard
c) quick, unreliable fingers
d) thin curly hair that hasn't been washed for a decade or two
e) a sucker for different ideas that's coming thick and fast
f) able to hear
At least consider this: Donnie Vie is far from the shit played on the radio, but he still have some catchy choruses behind this crappy production. I think you should try it out, at least I've left my door open for some more Donnie Vie...




Label: Livewire/Cargo/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Enuff Z' Nuff/Faith No More/Vain
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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