Five Stars Compared To Jugular
Joseph McCarthy | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States | 02/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Driving The Nails is the second album released by the Vigilantes Of Love. The talent and creativity on this album has taken a giant leap forward. Compared to that of the first record, "Jugular," the song writing has improved so immensely that the difference between the two is striking. The song writer in Bill Mallonee has come to life on this cd. Not only is the music better, but the hip lyrics scattered throughout all the later Vigilante recordings begin to make their appearance on this recording. One classic example would be from the title track, "ladies and gentlemen, I used to be a notorious killer, then I became the world's greatest dancer, always asking what the truth was, and never waiting for the answer, its the clay inside this heart of stone, and the concrete in my head, I know there's a fine line between the living and the dead." Without a doubt, this album rocks. It's not heavy metal, country or punk. In fact, it's not easy to pin down except to say that its rock and roll. They have their own sound. With later records, reviewers would begin describing them as "grassroots." But if you need a landmark to lead your imagination to the VOL beat, then imagine John Cougar Mellencamp meets Bob Dylan. They have a child who runs away from home to do things his own way. That child would be the Vigilantes Of Love.From 1990 to 2000, the Vigilantes have been driving the nails of good music into the ears and hearts of their fans in hopes of reaching a wider audience through the real backing of a major record company. That major investment has never materialized to the extent that this band deserves. Bill Mallonee is a very talented song writer. He writes hits. But the world is missing out on this treasure because "Top Forty" rules the minds and wallets of big daddy corporate rock. With about sixteen releases under his belt, its stunning to hear Bill sing these prophetic lyrics on only his second cd: "we had tried for years to play by their rules on the ladder of success, as I was stepping up to make the first rung, I saw this vision of my brokeness, ...I've been picking up pieces of my might-have-beens, and I hold them up to the light" (from "Sanctuary").[P.S. In his thank you liner notes, ....thanks a group called the Chickasaw Muddpuppies, I too, recommend that group to readers and rockers]"