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.