Music » Band of the Week

The Vacancies

A Beat Missing or a Silence Added (Blackheart Records)


The best Cleveland rock bands tend to be as hard, grizzled, and mean as the third shift at U.S. Steel. But what distinguishes the Vacancies from their business-minded peers is that the band does a good job of balancing gritty, no-nonsense rock with melody and hooks that hark back to punk's first generation.

On their sophomore LP, the Vacancies benefit from a much fuller production that calls more attention to the band's big-time harmonies. The Vacancies' sound is unceasingly buoyant, with ringing, melodic guitars, two- and three-part harmonies, and bright, acrobatic bass lines prominent in the mix. As a result, punk rippers like "Forfeit" and "Killing Time" are both caustic and surprisingly catchy. "Don't sell us short," frontman Billy Crooked sings early on the disc. "Our day is coming." Sounds like it's already here.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.