May 4, 2007

You're a treasure no one opened

Vigilantes of Love is one of the great tragedies of Christian rock. Tragedies in that if they weren't Christian — that is, marketed to Christian audiences — they might have gotten the attention they deserve from the rest of us. (The Christian scene has never appreciated them enough either; one of their albums was even banned from stores for paraphrasing a little too closely the Song of Solomon). VOL is really one guy, Bill Mallonee, with a rotating crop of backup musicians. Most of his work is moody alt-country and folk rock. You can hear some great examples on his MySpace, including his duet with Emmylou Harris. But in 2001, Mallonee zig-zagged, as artists will, and put out an album called Summershine that includes one of best power pop songs ever recorded. Up there with anything by, say, Marshall Crenshaw or the La's. I'm telling you this because I've just found out that Mallonee is offering the entire album as free download. The song you want is the first one, You Know That. After you hear it you'll probably want the rest of the album too. I'm not as familiar with it, but it's definitely worth the price. Mallonee is from Athens, Georgia and was something of an REM protégé, if that's any incentive. (On first listen, I'm hearing more Tom Petty than anything). But even if you don't go whole hog, you will not regret getting your hands on You Know That. You will, in fact, wonder how this song can have existed for seven years without you knowing about it.

After all that build up, I should warn you that the site seems to be a bit glitchy. If you can't get through, You Know That (and one other song from the album) is also available for free here. Let me know what you think.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Great song--I'll download more when I have a bit more time.

Never heard of VOL before. Thanks for the tip.

Volsounds seems to require Paypal for a free transaction. Ah, well...

Michael -- no, it's confusing, but don't don't try to "buy" the whole album. If you just download the individual songs, it doesn't go through paypal.

I just discovered VoL on XM this afternoon. Incredible. And amazingly undiscovered. I was so moved I just posted about Bill and VoL in my blog AND on last.fm! Every alt-country fan needs to hear this music.

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