The Hated Opinionated One

Death Cab Reaches For A New Floor With Stairs

Posted by Scotio on May 2, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie. You know them. Everyone who is into Indie Rock music knows them, or has, at least, heard their name. With nearly each member becoming a hallmark in modern Indie Music as well as the band itself being the vocalized expression of the generation that followed after Generation X, they’ve created quite a prolific rap sheet. Now, they have a new album, Narrow Stairs, that they recorded in a new fashion for a new sound. The Quartet from Washington kick things off in this new gear with “Bixby Canyon Bridge.” What begins as a seemingly normal DCFC song, ends up becoming an all out Progressive Post-Rock musical assault. With guitars blazing and Gibbard merely humming along to provide an extra layer of sound, the song is a serious departure from the run-of-the-mill Death Cab sound. Following after that is the lead single, I Will Possess Your Heart. As most of you have already heard, the killer bassline and eerie ambient synth, not to forget the brief piano melody, to this track is what opens it up. Then, comes the enchanting light guitars, which is followed up by the hypnotizing drumtrack. For a moment, you’re not even sure if this is DCFC, anymore. It isn’t until around 4 mins and 42 seconds that Gibbard cuts through the music with his all too familar vocals. Even on “No Sunlight,” the band weaves in and out of familiar territory. The chorus and vocals are ordinary for the crew, but the music has a more . . . how would you say, “grimey” and unpolished feel to it. Sounding more like a veteran band that played together for years upon year, and, then, finally getting the chance to go and record an album. There’s professionalism with the way this is forged, but that’s something they’ve always had. With Narrow, though, they bring out a new hunger. Even when they stray back inside of their more comfortable area, they still sound refreshing, as the songs were recorded with the band together, and not individually recorded pieces put together. For “You Can Do Better Than Me” the crew pushes their music to a more pop sound from the late 60’s/early 70’s. The lyrics, skillful as always, fully pushes out how it feels to truly be in love with someone. To feel like they are grand leaps of levels above you, and you’re not only lucky, but confused at how you’re actually with this person. “Pity And Fear” houses a middle-eastern influence. Which, to say the least, is pretty surprising from the act. “The Ice Is Getting Thinner” would have to be the most easily recognizable amongst the tracks as something you’d expect from this band. With the soft keyboard and guitar/bass going along with it, you’re allowed to feel “at home” again with the band. Though, that might be a good/bad thing, depending on how you take in the rest of the album. Clearly, “Grapevine Fires” is a stand-out track. Having drums calls out to the little soldier inside of every person and a good combination of Indie and Pop sensibilities, this song has to end up one of the singles from the band, and could actually end up being the biggest hit single from this crazy, yet insanely smart collection of songs.




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