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The Vacancy - The Vacancy (Cover Artwork)

The Vacancy

The Vacancy: The VacancyThe Vacancy (2003)
A-F Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Acoustic guitar? Bongos?! Songs about girls? On an A-F release?! WTF?! I avoided this CD for a long time because of my preconceived notion of what an A-F band sounds like. My mindset was that they are all Mohawk-sporting nihilists who spout political jargon in their songs so they seem concern.
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Acoustic guitar? Bongos?! Songs about girls? On an A-F release?! WTF?! I avoided this CD for a long time because of my preconceived notion of what an A-F band sounds like. My mindset was that they are all Mohawk-sporting nihilists who spout political jargon in their songs so they seem concerned and then do little about it, merely complaining in their snotty voices over poorly played guitars. (Actually, I have only heard four A-F bands, so you'll have to excuse me, I guess I'm a little prejudiced…anyway…) They proved me wrong. Not ALL of their bands fit this description.

The Vacancy is like Lifetime without the warp-speed tempos. They are straightforward with their toe-tapping beats, vocal hooks, and agenda-less lyrics. The guy's voice even sounds a little like Ari. These songs aren't pitiful "my girlfriend broke my heart" songs, but are about relationships in general…with people of all kinds, not necessarily females, and not all about unfortunate events.

My disbelief that this was an A-F album started instantly with "Still the King," basically an upbeat pop punk tune with a killer hook in the chorus, and just enough grit. "Knocking Ourselves Dead" is a cool mid-tempo rocker, and has a chorus to yell along with: "So let's give them what we've got / what…we've…got… yeah!"

"After the Storm" is an unexpected but welcome slow tempo song with its share of hooks. The lyrics are a nice change of pace from the genre; they are positive- about putting the past behind and looking forward to what's to come. Not the best track by any means, but it's nice to see them mix it up and help break my prejudices of what this label can put out. The next and last track, "Decaffeinated Winter Weekends" goes even farther off the A-F track, showing that indeed they may have been influenced by Elvis Costello as their bio states, with its simple acoustic-bar-chord pop, its falsetto lines exchanging with a sing-along unison part, the lyrics "rocking battle scars," and yes, bongos and shakers.

Since releasing this they have changed drummers and dropped a second guitar to become a trio, but with lead singer Ben still in the band it should be more of the same. While it's not at the top of my priorities, I will be interested to hear their full length. This isn't anything original, but it is done decently and for this label it may be a mold-breaker. Congratulations, A-F, your band The Vacancy has broken my unfair view of your label.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 8, 2004)

This band ate balls when they played in SF. In fact, everybody who wasn't NMB and AM! at the Death Of A Nation tour ate balls. Just these guys probably eat more balls.

Anonymous (March 8, 2004)

Greg: whats the prob if solutions arent offered in songs to the problems they bring up? What is the solution to racism?, to an imperialist war drive? etc etc. These songs make points about things they see as wrong and hopefully make us think about the prob ourselves, they shouldnt refrain from bringing up a problem because they dont know, or dont offer, solutions.

Anonymous (March 6, 2004)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....Why I laugh?

AdamSocial (March 6, 2004)

Yawn.

Blah blah blah. Fuck Anti-Flag. Fuck A-F. Fuck everything positive coming out of this city.

Anonymous (March 6, 2004)

this band is fucking terrible... A-F sucks shit with the exception of New Mexican Disaster Squad... A-F records deserves to die. someone put these ridiculous bands out of their misery.

AdamSocial (March 6, 2004)

These dudes are one of my favorite bands in town, and I can't wait to be on the road with them this summer for the Sixtyfour/Vacancy Pittsburgh Takeover Tour!

The new stuff is in the same vein, but a bit catchier.

Shameless:

The Rock Spot in Hopewell.
April 2. 6pm.

Boys Night Out
Red Tape
The Vacancy
Sixtyfour
As Patient Stars Align

greg0rb (March 6, 2004)

to the guy two posts down: what I meant about bands just complaining is that they state the problems, yet offer no solutions in the songs. Solutions can offered in words...
-Greg

Anonymous (March 6, 2004)

I caught these guys with Rise Against (and Anti-Flag, unfortunately), and they were absolutely awful. If I could give this a zero, I would.

Anonymous (March 6, 2004)

im so sick of slurs like this :
"spout political jargon in their songs so they seem concerned and then do little about it, merely complaining"

what the fuck can you do about the most of the things that these bands sing about? All you can do is be aware and go to the odd rally or change your own behaviour. And yeah bands should stop 'complaining' about the state of affairs and fucking stop givin a shit. Then we can all be happy.

Anonymous (March 5, 2004)

i dont hear lifetime in this at all.

Anonymous (March 5, 2004)

These guys basically have a whole new sound.

On V-Day they played w/ Chris (#2), from Anti-Flag and I heard it was a damn fine show. I missed it sadly, eh.

These guys take a lot of shit here in Pittsburgh...I dunno why. They're not really that bad. I'm eager to hear their new stuff though.

The guy below me is right, AF Records is pretty diverse.

I HIGHLY suggest you guys check out Tabula Rasa. If not their disc, check 'em out live, they will def. rock you!

I'm out,

- Kirby

inagreendase (March 5, 2004)

Between bands like this, New Mexican Disaster Squad, and Tabula Rasa, A-F is actually quite diverse.

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