Vigilantes of Love was a rock band fronted by Bill Mallonee with a large number of secondary players drawn from the lush musician pool in and around Athens, Georgia. In its later manifestations in the later 1990s and early 2000's, Mallonee usually sang, played lead and rhythm guitar and harmonica, although in earlier bands he played drums.
The band takes its name from the New Order song "Love Vigilantes," although their sound tends more to folk, Americana, and country rock than New Wave. Their 2001 album Summershine also showed some movement toward Brit-pop and R.E.M.-style college rock, which would be more fully explored in Mallonee's solo career.
The band formed in 1990 in Athens, Georgia, where Bill Mallonee attended the University of Georgia. The act developed as a mostly acoustic, side-project of The Cone Ponies, the last in a long series of line-ups beginning in the mid-'80s with Windows and Walls, Bed of Roses, and -- a band name toyed with but never billed - Upper Black Eddy. For their first two recording projects -- Jugular, Drivin' the Nails -- the band performed as a trio between Mallonee, Mark Hall (accordion), and Jonathan "Dog-Mess Jonny" Evans (harmonica); the Athens, Ga. performance venues in which they were booked regularly included The Flying Buffalo, the 40-Watt Club, Rockfish Palace, Uptown Lounge, and -- their musical "home" -- The Downstairs Restaurant (now DT's Down Under). For the third and subsequent cd projects, slide-guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Billy Holmes played an increasingly important role. Later, when greater local success lead increasingly to engagements more widely in the Southeast, and with the departure of Mark Hall and Dog-Mess Jonny, the band then re-formed as a traditional touring four-piece rock band including front man Mallonee, Newton Carter, David LaBruyere, and Travis Aaron McNabb (later of Better Than Ezra).
Their first album distributed to Christian markets was V.O.L., their 1996 compilation. After many years of successful touring nationally and abroad -- England and Holland being particularly fond of Mallonnee's music, the band disbanded in 2001 as Mallonnee went solo as a singer-songwriter/guitarist/raconteur playing to the renewed interest in roots-music Americana.