I was recently turned on to a rock band by a White Horse Inn listener. After hearing just a few songs by the Vigilantes of Love, I became a fan. With a sound reminiscent of the Waterboys, The Call, U2, Bruce Cockburn, and if I dare say, Bob Dylan, they have nevertheless marked their own territory. You can't listen to V. O. L. without feeling their theology of despair. Their most recent CD, Blister Soul, cries out:
But rather than leaving you to wallow in self lament, they gently point to a theology of grace: "...and the thing that's yours for free is the thing I need the most, stifles every boast, stifles every boast." The music is not overly didactic, or preachy, but comes off as a heart-felt call to deal with the fact of sin head-on. In their quest to look realistically at sin, and the problem of the human condition, singer/songwriter Bill Mallonee and V. O. L. have found the meaning of grace. As reviewer Thom Jurek suggests, "The blister soul is the starting point of everyone's burden and everyone's hope...." (1)
There's a smaller place you go, where there's hardly any sound,
where the deals have all gone sour, and the house of cards comes down,
and the damage is costly, it's beyond all dollars and sense,
you can't measure it with graphs and charts or any instruments,
yeah the thing we cannot speak of, the secret we all know,
...oh this blister soul.
Shane Rosenthal is executive producer of The White Horse Inn national radio broadcast which can be heard online at www.whitehorseinn.org.
Issue: "Naked and Ashamed: Does anyone feel guilty anymore?" Nov./Dec. 1997 Vol. 6 No. 6 Page number(s): 35-36
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