“You’re really digging Rick being in the band aren’t you?” Those were the words (or at least something to that effect) that lead singer, guitarist, songwriter and frontman extraordinaire Brendan Murphy said to me as I was leaving Teakwoods after Source Victoria‘s first live performance of 2011.
Well, yeah! What newest member Rick Heins brings to this already amazing band is just one more piece to what is a puzzle for most bands; a collection of outstanding musicians. Rick smokes on the guitar and makes Source Victoria an even more dynamic force than they were when I first saw them open for Swervedriver’s Adam Franklin a year ago. No joke, they continue to progress and more important, continue to get BETTER.
I had a chance to talk with Rick and Brendan before the show. Both told me the same thing, the band had not practiced much since their last show at the Icehouse Tavern. That makes sense with the holidays and all. Maybe I was being told that so I would not expect much. Too bad, I always expect a lot with this band, but that is because they really are that good.
I was not disappointed, as always. 🙂
Source opened with two numbers off their last album The Fast Escape. “Burn the Pianos” was a great opener, a piano-driven tune that features explosive guitar work and sweeping vocal harmonies from Murphy and the jack-of-all trades for the band Aaron Wendt. Next up was one of my favorite songs from that 2007 album, “Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948”. This was a great way to open the show.
However, most Source Victoria fans probably feel the same way I do. New material! The band treated the Teakwoods crowd to plenty of it on this evening and it sounded absolutely outstanding. Source has been working on their new album for some time now and have plenty of tracks laid down in test mixes.
Many of these songs the band has been playing for a number of months. “Taking Me On” sounded as good as ever and “Once I’m Dead” was played in a revved up version for the crowd to close out the evening. The tranquil version of the song is outstanding and showcases a much different style from the band.
I am a huge fan of older songs such as “Opportunistic” and “Until We Crack”, but I have to say that one of the newer tracks “Nobody Knows But Me” may very well be their best track yet. An incendiary piece of music, “Nobody Knows But Me” starts out with a guitar lick that reminds me of Chrome-era Catherine Wheel. Chrome just so happens to be my favorite album from that band! The song is one long pop hook, an outstanding creation that features some of Murphy’s best vocals and a killer bass line from Justin Entsminger. Live this song is utterly intense without ever falling into that dreadful trap of being generic. What a tune!
One of the things I have not done enough of in past reviews is talk about drummer Scott Hessel and guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Wendt. Aaron really is the glue for the band, playing a variety of critical roles in the band and providing stellar work backing Murphy on vocals. Hessel complements Entsminger very well, giving Source Victoria a very strong rhythm section.
The crowd was treated to a great set, and I could not help but smile to myself thinking about what Brendan and Rick were telling me before the show. It is scary to consider what being back into a regular practice routine means when this band plays next.
Speaking of which, Source Victoria is playing with Tugboat and Factories as part of the farewell show of The Other 49 on Saturday, February 12. When Brendan told me they were playing that show I nearly … well, never mind. I hate to see The Other 49 go, but those guys and Source on the same bill is pretty incredible.
What a way for Source Victoria to start 2011! Check SilverPlatter.info often to see when these guys are performing next. Then get off your ass and go!
Here are a couple of better photos, courtesy of graphic designer and photographer Jason Garcia:
Source Victoria live at Teakwoods 1/7/2011 – photo taken by Jason Garcia – 1
Source Victoria live at Teakwoods 1/7/2011 – photo taken by Jason Garcia – 2