Apr 012009
Authors: Ian Mahan

Few bands have been able to survive independently for seven years and actually succeed after that time on major labels. In fact, only one band comes to mind that fits this description.

Seattle-based band Death Cab For Cutie returns less than a year after their sixth studio album, “Narrow Stairs,” with “The Open Door EP.”

The five songs on “The Open Door EP” do nothing but solidify Death Cab For Cutie as one of the most timeless bands since The Beatles.

While most would define the band as the frontrunner in the emo genre, lyricist and vocalist Ben Gibbard dives much further into his songs than singing about heartbreak and loneliness.

The opening track to the “EP”, “Little Bribes,” flows like a Beatle-esque bright song that catches Gibbard hopelessly confessing, “. and you were like a walking compliment, tall in stature and exceptionally red .” Though repetitive in its melody, the song provides a catch that is sure to keep a listener interested.

“My Mirror Speaks,” the only song on the “EP” that falls into the bands normal sound, tells about finding elusive love and self-introspection, saying, “I always fall in love with an open door with a horizon on an endless sea .”

The final song on the EP, “Talking Bird,” is a song featured on “Narrow Stairs,” but the band presents its demo version on the new album. The track lends itself to a more unique sound, expressed in the form of a lone ukulele backing Gibbard’s vocals.

Despite the massive amounts of production done by guitarist Chris Walla on each of the band’s albums, they haven’t lost touch with the ability to keep things simple and intimate.

Overall, the “The Open Door EP” is a great collection of songs that very well could have been included on “Narrow Stairs”, with just one drawback: there should be more.

Staff writer Ian Mahan can be reached at verver@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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