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VINYL OF THE MONTH
(Exit Stencil Recordings)
“Let’s go back to a simpler time…”
Cleveland, huh? Well, let’s hope they keep making records like these in the Midwest. Great Father is basically Exit Stencil founder Brandon Stevens’ solo project, and fuck if it isn’t a magnificent piece of work. Opener “On The Vine” is an honest, graceful acoustic rambler that in a fairer world would be a pop radio staple.
The record, on the whole, is a dreamy amalgam of contemporary indie folk and hazy throwback numbers – told from a musician with enough life experience to write lyrics that elevate the genre above the clichéd and trite crap we’ve been fed as of late. The honesty and earnestness shine through here where other (lesser) records would have floundered.
“If I Never See Cleveland Again” opens up Side Two and for my money, is the album’s other main highlight. The double-tracked vocal effect conjures early John Lennon solo albums, and the laid-back storytelling nature of the track eases you in like an old friend.
Bottom line: Bicentennial Blue is a flat-out fantastic album, one that is made even better in its full-sounding vinyl release. Highly recommended.
Mastered for vinyl by Chris Keffer at Magnetic North Studio
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