Print Edition: June 5, 2013
The music rose in both style and volume throughout Aftermath last Saturday in CIVL Radio’s Battle of the Bands. CIVL held its third night of battles on May 25 at the campus pub to an eager crowd of UFV students and newcomers.
With Aftermath having a small entry hold, the pub was nearly full when the opening band began.
“My goal was 50 people per night,” CIVL station manager Aaron Levy said, “not including bands and volunteers. After the last three Saturdays, we have had about 160 paid entrees in total!”
Levy was also impressed with the change in audience demographic.
“We wanted this to be all ages, but we are kind of impressed with the amount of younger kids we’ve been getting out, which is awesome,” Levy noted. “The last time CIVL did a concert series at the restaurant currently known as Aftermath, we did not make it all ages, and people wished we had.”
Hrdwtr, a band out of Aldergrove started the night off with smooth folk music. Catchy tunes with a mellow mood and violin strings, Hrdwtr brought familiar and entertaining music in a simple way to the battle. Hrdwtr, led by Jason Sylvester, has been writing and recording for the past several years. CIVL’s Battle of the Bands was the start of the band’s tour of Western Canada with their first full-length album.
Afterwards was Abbotsford’s own Poppy and the Pistols, an alternative family band influenced by Jack White and Jon Foreman. Composed of three brothers and their father, the Penner family sped things up with a louder noise and a more raucous pace. While the band performed well both in talent and entertainment, they tended to go a tad preachy before songs, spouting clichéd song intros.
Finishing off the battle with a last-minute entry was an alternative metal band from Mission called The Nacaals. Filling in for Surrey’s Kara Kata Afrobeat Group, The Nacaals were definitely the loudest and most intense of the three bands. The band’s music is similar to groups like Blag Dhalia and Between the Buried and Me. The Nacaals woke up the crowd with some hard pounding metal made up of great guitar and bass work and solid drums. However, either due to the acoustics of Aftermath, the lyrics for the songs were almost unintelligible at times.
The judges for the night broke down the performances and rated them in terms of creativity, performance and crowd reaction. Despite a worthy attempt from Hrdwter, Poppy and the Pistols and The Nacaals managed to tie for first place. The two will continue on to a playoff round later in the Battle of the Band’s schedule. Levy was happy with the result and participation from CIVL and SUS volunteers.
“SUS really seems like they’re enjoying helping host the event,” Levy explained. “Bands are having really good experiences, and the volunteers have all been really enjoying themselves.”
Levy and many others will be looking forward to the fourth battle on June 1 that will have Abbotsford’s rock quartet Minnesota Nice and post-hardcore virtuosos Losses as well as Langley’s ska punkers Guts and Glory duking it out to move forward in the battles to come.