As a Seattle venue, I respect Chop Suey. Their shows begin at decent hoursâ€”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 Sparrowsâ€”stay tuned for an interview next week and a review of their debut album the week followingâ€”and local trio Toy Gun.)
It would be appropriate to begin at the end, as thatâ€™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 Sueyâ€™s front door, chatting with Shawn Jones of The Lovely Sparrows and Jared Fiechtner of Stencil.
Fiechtner spoke of Stencilâ€™s debut release, The Dead Lie Golden, and how the songs they played earlier that evening were all newâ€”The Dead was an arrangement of several musicians and, while several new artists joined him on stage, it didnâ€™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? Itâ€™s pretty catchy and reminded me a bit of a cross between a more indie Interpol with an early Dismemberment Planâ€”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 itâ€™s sooner than later.
Below is a track from that earlier album, available at CD Baby.
Stencil: The Prize [mp3]