Seattle and Portland are known for having a very strong music scene. Obviously highlights could be Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse and or Sleater Kinney. The way rock music is perceived in this modern age isn’t quite the same as in past decades. Being born and raised in Calgary I’ve seen the “underground” music scene take a strong step forward. With help from the alternative stations in the city and people becoming more open minded to music.
Open Air, is a Calgary band who just released their debut full length on August 28th. “Creatures” is the first single from the album and was dropped before the release of the record. A quick taste into what to expect from Lessons From The Crow. Steven Mansfield has an electric voice from the opening lyrics. The album is well layered with different paces from song to song, branching into softer genres while maintaining a rock core.
The second track on the debut LP, “Pareidolia” was not particularly my favourite but it was a good selection to display the talent in the instrumental aspects of the group. Garrett Greenhall (guitar), Tyler Bourne (bass), and Josh Hearnden (drums).
“Shangri-la” begins with an acoustic guitar progressing into a very smooth, comfortable chorus. The continuity in the acoustic in the end of the tune made it just feel like the most whole, complete and consistent song on the album. Simple drumming, but really fit well, nicely done!
The band along with many other columnists describe it as a groovy 70’s modern rock feel. Being born in the 90’s I’m not ashamed to say the 70’s have little influence on my musical taste now. However, I can confirm it’s very groovy. Possibly my favourite on the album would be “Young Skeletons.” Another track which displays strong guitar skills from Garrett.
Opening for One Bad Son several times – who I had interviewed in the past. Shane Volk is a working class man who made something of his band by strictly effort (they just recently opened for Def Leppard). If Open Air is willing to slave away on tours and self promotion they’ll likely make something of themselves. It’s a very strong debut.
Now the negative. Pop music nowadays doesn’t have any instruments, it’s all electronic. Hopefully in the near future we will see the rejuvenation of band members in music. It’ll be very beneficial to rock music and alike. My other point now. Open Air, has a strong first effort, which will gather some attention and likely radio play. Enjoy the success and fun of being in the moment. But I’m curious to see the future of the squad. How can you differentiate yourself from the countless other independent musicians to put you at the forefront of rock and roll? A record deal? A stellar live set or performance? Community involvement? A strong fan base? Good luck!
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