The desert breeds strange creatures, and one of the toughest things to remember about that is the fact that not all strangely bred desert creatures show any signs of such lineage.
Arizona has never been the most celebrated musical hub on the planet, but there's a long list of truly great artists and bands to make their mark in the broader musical world. And most of the time that has something to do with the fact that the music is some unique concoction of the Arid Madlands - Waylon Jennings' "Hell if I care" outlaw country; the Meat Puppets' countriefied psychedelic punk; Roger Clyne's Sonoran twang; Giant Sand's everything-under-the-punishing-sun feedback-laced Americana and Calexico's cinematic desert noir.
So beyond simply refreshing, it's actually a great encouragement to come to a new Arizona band that breaks free of all cliches of desert rock, cowpunk and the like.
If anything, Tempe's Source Victoria comes across as the great lost Brit-Rock band of the mid 1990s. They'd comfortably fit on a bill with Pulp and the Verve, and on top of that, show the Brits a few things from the Built To Spill side of the pond.
The Fast Escape opens with the swirling atmospheric track "The Welcoming," which welds a somber piano to feedback and vocals that start out slightly muffled and build to a haunting echo that rides out on a cello. Next up is the hard-driving "Until We Crack," which matches a soaring chorus to the sort of bombast that Coldplay stole several times over and watered down along the way.
The whole record rides on an unassailable backbone of solid drums and meaty guitars. Source Victoria slow it down and speed it up, set fire to songs and let things dissipate into air like smoke, but the band never drops that backbone.
"Miss Spiritual Tramp Of 1948" is an out-and-out rocker, clocking in at under 3 minutes and sounding about ready to hit the top of the charts in a world where the masses bothered to listen to good music. "Heartless Boy" adds an existential ache to the mix, driven by shimmering guitars and a rolling drumbeat.
Take advantage now of the band's generosity and head on over to Source Victoria's Web site to grab this record FOR FREE. That's right, no gimmicks or anything, just a download link for high-quality files, complete with album art. Just click on the words "take the fast escape."
Source Victoria - Miss Spiritual Tramp Of 1948
The Fast Escape album