Endless Nights by The Vacant LotsRelease date: April 21, 2017
The Vacant Lots have always been fixated with Suicide and Alan Vega, but this has always played into their music in ways which never seem to dwell on that fascination. Instead their music has become an extension in many ways, of the ethos that Vega was getting at. Spending time on tour and becoming friends also enabled Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen to truly get to know the great man, to the extent that Vega was ready to write lyrics for them.
Due to his untimely death this never materialised yet through contacts they were given permission to trawl through the Vega vaults and look for some lyrics to match the song they were to write together. That song became ‘Suicide Note’, the final track on new album, Endless Nights, and becomes the guiding light for everything this album stands for.
Part rock and roll pomp, part electro grime, if ever an album was made for the New York night it was this one. Becoming a journey into the swarming nightlife of the city, it seeks out the desperate beauty within its closed walls. Where Lou Reed found heroin chic, The Vacant Lots find dirty disco and all manner of highs. Meanwhile the ghost of Suicide charges the music to intense levels of repetitive urges. Nothing is clean, it all comes out like some ravenous beauty inclined to live a life of highs behind a desperate sadness.
The song titles say it all, ‘Pleasure And Pain’, ‘Night Nurse’, ‘Empty Space’, they conjure up images of a seedy underground, overshadowed by the leering figure of Liberty. This is a bastardised version, complete with scars, driven by hunger, pale, inconsequential, yet alive. Like the band name suggests, their lot in life is vacant. Nothingness.
Beneath this cool exterior and bursting through is a deep sense of rock and roll history, the riff from ‘Pleasure And Pain’ aping the majesty of The Rolling Stones on ‘Street Fighting Man’. There’s s different kind of rebellion here though as the counterculture is thrust aside for an electronic glamour. Their close counterparts in NY electro psych, The White Hills mastered this, here the young upstarts seek to take it further. Under the guiding hand of Vega they take you down the back alleys behind the death disco’s.
The Vacant Lots are a band who mean what they say. To see them live is to witness true spirit, often bloodied. On album they create urgent spikes of electro mixed with a heady rock and roll, the kind that’s missing so much these days. They keep it minimal which works in their favour and over its brief life, this album takes you to the dark underbelly of the city. Why not take hold of their hands, after all, if it’s good enough for Alan Vega, it’s got to be good enough for you.