Live Reviews

Stencil: Chop Suey, Seattle [Live, 08.26.2008]

Stencil by Kelley Bingham

As a Seattle venue, I respect Chop Suey. Their shows begin at decent hours—something aging individuals like myself appreciate. The bill for this rainy August evening included three artists, opening with Stencil, a band I was unfamiliar with. (The other two artists included my good Austin friends The Lovely Sparrows—stay tuned for an interview next week and a review of their debut album the week following—and local trio Toy Gun.)

It would be appropriate to begin at the end, as that’s where I learned a bit more about Stencil, their background, and their music. As Toy Gun took the stage, I took my leave (sorry guys, maybe next time) and prepared to head home. But I got caught in the cove at Chop Suey’s front door, chatting with Shawn Jones of The Lovely Sparrows and Jared Fiechtner of Stencil.

Fiechtner spoke of Stencil’s debut release, The Dead Lie Golden, and how the songs they played earlier that evening were all new—The Dead was an arrangement of several musicians and, while several new artists joined him on stage, it didn’t translate as well into the new lineup. Besides, The Dead Lie Golden was released last year and Fiechtner has been busy writing several new tunes and taking the band in a new direction the past few months, honing in on a bit of an updated sound.

What about that sound? It’s pretty catchy and reminded me a bit of a cross between a more indie Interpol with an early Dismemberment Plan—of course, I could be off here; I mean, I was hopped up on three or four cups of coffee that evening. And the old stuff, to the contrary, is a bit more orchestrated.

So in speaking with Fiechtner after the show, it became readily apparent that our paths will likely cross again. I, for one, hope it’s sooner than later.

Below is a track from that earlier album, available at CD Baby.

Stencil: The Prize [mp3]

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