Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 164. Killing Floor – Vigilantes of Love

164. Killing Floor – Vigilantes of Love

KILLING FLOOR (1992)

Vigilantes of Love

There is not a whole lot more one can say about Bill Mallonee that hasn’t been said in previous reviews and will be said in future reviews as VoL is one of the most celebrated bands on this list as only a handful will be more represented than Mallonee and crew.

Produced by Peter Buck and Mark Heard and released on Heard’s Fingerprint Records, Killing Floor remains of the great albums of the early 1990’s. Killing Floor is the third release for the band and was supposed to be distributed to the Christian Bookstore market by Frontline Records back in the day until some in the management team heard a few songs that they were not comfortable with. As a result the album never received the distribution it deserved as it may have been the most “commercial” sounding album of the early VoL days.

It’s hard to find a weak track on this amazing album. Though it features the same stark and limited instrumentation of the first two projects (Jugular, Driving Nails), here Mallonee does more with less as songs like “Anybody’s Guess” sounds much “bigger” than previous pop driven melodies by the band.

The albums strength, of course, lies in the amazing songwriting of Mallonee who deserves to stand alongside the very best in all of music. But it should be noted that after two previous releases that Mallonee’s vocals are more mature and confident. They are more up front and forceful. This benefits the album as the great content and brilliant writing take center stage.

Also, Heard’s production adds some touches the previous albums lacked, especially a stronger drum presence and a stronger representation of the mandolin. These subtle touches are pure Mark Heard and they pay off well. A brilliant record, that like everything by VoL deserved a wider hearing.

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  1. Mike
    February 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Great album, and near the top of my list for VoL. Hope to see Audible Sigh on the list, as I think it may be their best.

    BTW, it would be helpful with a list this long, if you could have a page or two with the complete list; I can’t remember if you’ve already done Audible Sigh or not.

    Bill is great to see in concert; if you get a chance to see him, it’s well worth the price of admission.

    • low5point
      February 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      I will place the entire list when done. Don’t want to spoil anything…

  2. February 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Truly a classic album of the 90’s music landscape! It mixes the best pop sounds of REM (Keep in mind their classic “Automatic For The People” was released the same year as “Killing Floor”) with the roots rock sounds of industry genius Mark Heard for one of the most accessible albums Mallonee and company ever produced! The other of course was the aforementioned “Audible Sigh” and “Summershine”

  3. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 18, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Mallonee fans would do well to sign up for his series of releases called WPA (Works, Progress, Administration). He records new songs monthly and sends them out via email. It is, largely, how he makes his living now.

  4. Billy Holmes
    February 25, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Nice review, but it would have been nice if my name were mentioned at least ONCE somewhere, since the band at the time was just Bill Mallonee and myself, and the two of us had the entire album recorded pretty much as is in pre-production before Mark or Peter came onboard. The touches that the writer states are ‘pure Mark Heard ‘ are, in fact, mostly mine and Bills. Almost all the parts were there, and Bill and I played most of them on both the demos and the album. I hate to be a whiner, but I have spent years and years listening to other people get glowing reviews for an album that I worked and worked and worked my butt off on for months. If you notice – It says produced by Heard, Buck and VOL ( meaning ME and Bill ). I did most of the arranging and orchestration and a good deal of the production. This was one of my finest records, and I’d like to get a little credit for it occassionally. THANKS !

  5. Jeff L
    June 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    what a crybaby Billy Holmes is.

  6. Greenchili
    December 29, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Well I certainly dont have an issue with someone wanting credit for something they put alot of hard work into. Anywho I really like this album. I like on the one song (either first or second) the use of the harmonica? Almost sounds like a guitar the way it is played.

    There is another song where some instrument is playing along with the bass. Anyone have any idea what it may have been. I was having a hard time pinpointing it.

    Anywho I’ll have to give this another listen in the near future.

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