Despite the World
Vegas in Flames 'Despite the World' Jon C. Croft: vocals, guitar * Heather Croft: vocals, guitar Art Behrman: bass * Andy Salzman: drums Chemistry is a strange and mysterious thing. In bands, like relationships, it's the 'electricity' that provides an indefinable element of excitement and tension. Jon and Heather Croft-happily married and fronting Seattle's own Vegas in Flames-have successfully transformed their personal chemistry into the 12 dynamic and edgy songs that make up the band's Unsmashable Records debut, Despite the World. Though the songs don't necessarily deal specifically with their relationship, there is an interplay that is undeniable. 'I think that Heather and I being married is a twist,' says Jon. 'There is an energy that can be heard that is created because of our commitment to each other.' And like any relationship, this remarkably diverse debut is filled with a variety of emotions-from the pensive opener 'Weight' to the raging 'Dirty Looks' to the shared sorrow of 'Only One.' This is no coincidence. The tracks the band chose for Despite the World were selected to come together as a whole. Rather than just compiling a bunch of demos, Vegas in Flames recorded and assembled the songs with John Ervie at Jupiter studio very meticulously. 'We were fairly conscious of how the songs fit together,' explains Jon. 'We dropped a few songs and wrote some new tunes to help keep the CD pretty fluid. There is a dialogue that happens throughout Despite the World. It's not a deliberate dialogue as a concept, but by the end of the CD a conversation has transpired.' Jon and Heather's chemistry certainly fuels the band's chemistry-the couple share lead vocal and guitar duties-but Vegas in Flames is a band with a rock-steady rhythm section, consisting of bassist Art Behrman and drummer Andy Salzman, that makes up the other half of the equation. Together the quartet have crafted a batch of consistently powerful and potent tunes built on pop foundations and enhanced by elements of punk, metal, psychedelia and indie rock. And though they do choose to incorporate many styles and sounds, it all feels organic and unforced. The songwriting is smart, the performances are energetic and the recording is full and crisp. In short, Despite the World is the kind of debut every fledgling rock band dreams of making. A fully-realized record that makes a lasting and memorable first impression.