The Vacancies - A Beat Missing or a Silence Added (Cover Artwork)

The Vacancies

A Beat Missing or a Silence Added (2005)


Don't let the artwork, or the band's font (complete with an "X" over the "I") fool you, the Vacancies are not another street punk band, but instead an interesting and refreshing mix of punk's many subgenres. Over the course of A Beat Missing or a Silence Added, you will hear everything from blue-collar punk to melodic hardcore and straight up pop-punk. The band manages to keep everything solidified thanks to a great mix of passion and production, a feat not many bands seem capable of handling.

"Children of the Century" starts the album off with a driving, screaming assault that mixes ferocious drumming and massive chords with melodically charged shouts. This formula pops up again on songs like "Draw by Numbers" with its near-Kid Dynamite guitar lines, and "Forfeit" with its AFI-like shouted verses and poppy mid-tempo chorus. "Save Yourself" on the other hand sounds like the Suicide Machines' more pop moments, while "Don't Wanna Know" and "Don't Back Down" recall the anthemic punk of the Bouncing Souls, and "Radio Revolution" and "Rise Up" are bouncy, clap-inducing, backup vocal-rich pop-punkers.

Unfortunately, the album starts to drag a bit, as over the course of its 15 tracks the band seems to revisit some of the same hooks and tricks. Also, there is the appropriately titled "Hey Man!" The song makes for one of the band's most interesting thanks to its sleazy garage dance feel, but is regrettably overshadowed by the fact that the "hey man" shout that opens every line, along with the piano work towards the close of the song, sound like they were stolen from Bowie's "Suffragette City." Still, the album is fun and fierce, a well produced collection of songs that is able to maintain an edge.