Tag Archives: exit stencil

Blake Miller to Release ‘Burn Tape’ April 21 (MP3s)

We were right. After listening to 2006’s rough-but-really-good Together With Cats, we predicted that Blake Miller‘s sophomore effort would altogether astonish and impress. Okay, maybe we didn’t write those exact words, but that’s exactly what happened.

Frankly, we were a little concerned that Burn Tape wouldn’t happen at all. When Miller’s home-recorded debut Together With Cats came out back in late 2006, an insider at Exit Stencil Records promised a quick follow-up. You can imagine the surprise, then, when we received a smartly-packaged compact disc a distant 2.x years later. Continue reading

The Dreadful Yawns – Take Shape

Dreadful Yawns - Take Shape
2008, Exit Stencil

Cleveland’s The Dreadful Yawns are back.

Take Shape, The Dreadful Yawns’ second album, has been described as more psychedelic than their first release; this might be a worry if the Dreadful Yawns hadn’t awed us last time.

They’ve always have a retro sound, and it’s sometimes more prevalent this time ’round, but it’s largely a relaxing affair. The album’s first track, “Like Song,” starts out as a stripped and countrified Jim O’Rourke rhyme and ends with full-on Loose Fur loveliness–the kind of thing that the Yawns do best. The next song, “The Queen and the Jokester” is a Kinks-style stomp.

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Spanish Prisoners – Songs to Forget

Spanish Prisoners
2008, Exit Stencil Records

Spanish Prisoners‘ first album, Songs to Forget, starts and ends sparsely, but definitely not forgettably.

The album begins with a nice guitar and strange vocals, and ends with a kind of combination medieval folk and Live In Chicago-era Joan of Arc. On the second track, lead man Leonid Maymind sings that there’s “No solace from the sunrise,” amid synth drums and loud guitars. The album continues along that vein for a while, then relaxes a bit in the middle (the swelling instrumental “This is Not That”). After this point, Spanish Prisoners seem to really get their footing. The tracks that follow, “Mantequilla,” “Dear Just Curious,” and “How the Fallen Fell,”–especially with “Fallen”‘s Neil Young harmonica–are the album’s highlights.