Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee

Perfumed Letter

Paste

Bill Mallonee was the leader of the Athens, Georgia-based Vigilantes of Love, a band that spent the ’90s crafting a series of terrific records. Early advocate Peter Buck left his mark on the band’s jangle pop sound, producing 1992’s Killing Floor. But for my money the band hit its creative apex with the alt-country flavored Audible Sigh, produced by the great Buddy Miller and featuring backing vocals from his wife Julie as well as Emmylou Harris. The record was well-received but not wildly successful from a commercial standpoint. VOL put together one more record before calling it a day.

These days Mallonee travels the country performing mostly solo dates, his passion for performing and songwriting seemingly undiminished. He’s issued a couple of fairly low-profile solo albums as well. Now Paste Records looks to up his visibility with this collection. For those who have been paying close attention, Perfumed Letter includes five songs from last year’s Fetal Position and seven of more recent vintage. Several former Vigilantes are also along for the ride.

A Brit-pop influence emerges on tracks like the opening “She’s So Liquid,” with its “Strawberry Fields”-like Mellotron sound. The title track is inventive, mature pop of the first order. The upbeat “Extraordinary Girl” is excellent as well. Mallonee pays tribute to Pet Sounds on “Two Become One.” And he playfully reminds us that he also has a significant following in the Christian rock crowd on tracks like “Wintergreen.” “Been sleeping at Gethsemane / Got Mother Mary and the rosary,” he sings. “You had secrets and I had baggage / Together we decided to unpack it / Dreamed a dream now you’re laughing at it / You’re just a girl in a leather jacket.” Throughout, Mallonee’s songwriting remains strong, smart and engaging.

If you’re just now discovering Mallonee’s work, the bad news is you’ve got some catching up to do. The good news is Perfumed Letter is a good place to start and will likely whet your appetite for more.

Paste Music: http://www.pastemusic.com/ • Bill Mallonee: http://www.billmallonee.net/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Jacqueline Kerrod
    Jacqueline Kerrod

    17 Days in December (Orenda Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    In The Blossom Of Their Shade (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Best of Film 2021
    Best of Film 2021

    Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite features, seven supplemental films, and two prized repertory releases of 2021.

  • I Saw A Dozen Faces…
    I Saw A Dozen Faces…

    From The Windbreakers to Bark, Tim Lee is a trooper in the rock and roll trenches…and he’s lived to tell it all in his new memoir.

  • The Lyons
    The Lyons

    A man on his deathbed is surrounded by bickering family members, many of which you would strangle him given the chance. In other words: a brilliant comedy!

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives