Almost Bear, Coldwater Road, Echo Nebraska, and The Battlefields - @ Studio Records, Vancouver

August 1, 2015

Review by Morgan Berna

Photo credit Alexandra Aubut

The night kicked off with Almost Bear’s In My Garage, a perfect song title for the feel this band had. The music was pretty typical garage band style, without a lot standing out for being either bad or good. They definitely have potential to grow and embrace their unique style, but for now they’re really in the early stages of forming a cohesive sound and there isn't a lot to comment on. We'd love to see roles embraced more tightly by each band member, and a little more creativity in the instrumentation. 

Up next was Coldwater Road, starting their set with a brand new song. They have a unique folk-rap style to some of their songs, with elements that bring Passenger to mind. A truly unique combination, we enjoyed their set immensely. The lyrics were creative and passionate, the covers (including one by Dawes and another by The National) stood out, and their stage presence was welcoming. This is one band we recommend keeping an eye on.

Then was Echo Nebraska, one of our favourite local Vancouver bands. They’ve only improved since we last saw them, growing their sound and performing new incredibly well-written songs. This band has really mastered the art of writing catchy, lyrically dense songs. They tell a story, but also get you singing and dancing right along. As always, we loved their set and can’t wait to get our hands on another album by them.

The night came to a bit of an underwhelming finish with LA’s The Battlefields. Inspired by bands like Fleetwood Mac we expected some truly catchy folk songs, but were instead met with a series of fairly down-tempo, country tunes. After everyone had gotten themselves worked up and dancing from Echo Nebraska’s set, it was unfortunate to have the energy brought down so late into the evening. About halfway through their set the tempo picked up and a few catchy songs were played, like Turn It On or Walk On By, but overall we wouldn’t choose them as the band to close a night. The three vocalists sang together for most sections of the songs, which made their voices blur together more than create enjoyable harmonies. On their own they sounded individually talented, however. This being said, had they played a bit earlier in the evening we likely wouldn’t have been so disappointed and may have found a few more songs enjoyable. Fans of mellow country music should check them out.

Overall, the night had some ups and downs, but ultimately a lot of talented musicians played and kept us entertained. We had a great time attending, and enjoyed the new venue.