Posts Tagged With: death cab for cutie

Death Cab for Cutie Live @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire (10/06/15)

American rockers from Seattle Death Cab for Cutie’s tour in support of their latest studio album ‘Kintsugi’ brings them to Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a venue filled earlier this year by Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Joined by Death Cab for Cutie in a supporting role are the wonderful indie-rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks, whose roaring and raucous rock style created a wonderful experience for all those there. Death Cab for Cutie themselves proceeded to put on a highly enjoyable show, one that failed to not connect with those who’ve grown up with the band over the years.

Death Cab for Cutie’s concert saw the band playing a nice range of tracks, a few spanning back to their very earliest years on Barsuk Records. Whilst the concert and tour was in support of ‘Kintsugi’, Death Cab for Cutie offered a wonderful selection of their old songs, intertwining them nicely with their newest material to create an enjoyable set-list. The energy flowed comfortably from the band, giving excitement and joy during the upbeat and fast-paced tracks, and bitter-sweetness during the more somber moments. Even with all the fame and fortune lead-singer Benjamin Gibbard has garnered over the years, everything still felt genuine and comfortable.

As known by fans of the band, the recording of ‘Kintsugi’ marked the last time founding member Chris Walla will work with the band. The concert itself featured some of Death Cab for Cutie’s best tracks, which were all played wonderfully, but it has to be said that the lack of Chris Walla does give the music a slightly disappointing element, as we know that little extra bit he brought to everything is sadly missing. In fairness to the rest of the band, they certainly pushed themselves to compensate for the lack of Walla, making it look almost easy. It is disappointing to not see Walla with the band, but most of Death Cab for Cutie is certainly better than no Death Cab for Cutie.

The bands’ performance at Shepherd’s Bush Empire was largely successful. Many of the tracks worked wonderfully, connecting to most of the audience members on some personal level, whether through good memories or even bad ones. It just feels as though Gibbard understands largely what makes everyone human, and knows how to present this through a musical format in a way that connects with everyone. Highlights include some very old songs from Death Cab for Cutie’s back catalogue, from ‘Company Calls’ to ‘Your Bruise’ from the bands’ first album, as well as some absolutely beautiful moments through the performance of ‘What Sarah Said’, ‘Passenger Seat’ and ‘Transatlanticism’ (of which closed the set). Arguably this might not be the absolute best concert from Death Cab for Cutie ever, but it is certainly one that is memorable for all its own reasons.

Set-List:

1: No Room In Frame

2: Crooked Teeth

3: Photobooth

4: Black Sun

5: Doors Unlocked And Open

6: The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

7: Title & Registration

8: Codes & Keys

9: Little Wanderer

10: No Sunlight

11: Company Calls

12: You’ve Haunted Me All My Life

13: What Sarah Said

14: I Will Follow You Into The Dark

15: El Dorado

16: You Are A Tourist

17: The New Year

18: Cath…

19: Soul Meets Body

20: I Will Possess Your Heart

-Encore-

21: Passenger Seat

22: Your Bruise

23: Marching Band of Manhattan

24: Transatlanticism

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Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie

Indie-rock band Death Cab For Cutie offer up their latest album ‘Kintsugi’, their first album in their long career featuring a different producer following on from the departure of member Chris Walla. On ‘Kintsugi’, we see Death Cab for Cutie offering up more of their quintessential and charming indie-rock music, partnering together lead singer Benjamin Gibbard’s introspective lyrical style with enjoyable instrumentals. In many ways, it’s a very typical Death Cab for Cutie album, featuring accessible and enjoyable tracks that are certain to become popular fan favourites, though there’s elements of experimentation here and there, showcasing the band as one who are always looking forward and making attempts to broaden their own style in any way they can. 

There’s a lovely element running throughout ‘Kintsugi’, which seems to push forward a forlorn and somewhat diminished perspective on love once again (differing from the bands’ previous 2012 album ‘Codes & Keys’). It seems thematically, things have taken a turn from the bands’ previous album effort, with Gibbard indulging much more in ideas and concepts previously explored on his earlier material, though this time with a much added level of maturity. Although we’ve heard these themes and ideas before, Gibbard pushes out his own ideas and themes with effortless ease, making everything sound natural, without really being forced upon the listener. 

Death Cab For Cutie have pushed out a rather enjoyable album effort with ‘Kintsugi’, which is offers up charm and moodiness in equal measures and both in accessible and enjoyable ways. Although there’s much that works well for ‘Kintsugi’, it seems certain parts of the album drag on somewhat, acting a little sluggishly on the overall palette being presented by the album itself. Whilst there’s many enjoyable and accessible tracks being presented by the band, it seems others don’t really match up all that well, sounding a little like filler material on an otherwise strong album.

‘Kintsugi’ might not be the strongest Death Cab For Cutie album, though it is certainly a step up from their previous album effort, offering up a lot more in terms of themes, concepts and ideas. Many of the elements being presented on the album work well, with the poorer tracks not impacting too greatly on the overall album experience (though it could certainly benefit from trimming here and there). It seems work with a new producer hasn’t impacted too greatly on Death Cab For Cutie’s overall sound, though will the departure of Chris Walla impact on the bands’ follow up album to ‘Kintsugi’?

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • No Room In Frame
  • Little Wanderer
  • Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)
  • Ingénue

Death Cab For Cutie’s eighth studio album ‘Kintsugi’ is out now.

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Live 2012 – Death Cab for Cutie Feat. Magik*Magik Orchestra

For Record Day 2014, indie-rock band Death Cab for Cutie offer up a collection of live recordings from the bands 2012 tour with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. The new vinyl/digital download album offers fans sixteen recordings that span the bands’ whole discography, playing songs from each of the bands albums and what-not. The whole album is a rather grand affair, showcasing some of the bands best material, and perhaps offering insight into a few overlooked tracks from their many albums. There’s a lot to be enjoyed here, as both Death Cab for Cutie and the Magik*Magik Orchestra really pull out the stops in presenting a new slant to some of the bands’ best tracks.

‘Live 2012′ doesn’t seem to come across as a typical live album experience. Death Cab for Cutie offer us a wonderful array of different tracks, ranging from some of their most well known songs to some tracks whose inclusion on the album feels questionable, but makes sense somehow. It’s certainly a delight to hear some of the bands’ older material getting the same love and attention that the newer material has had, as well as hearing some of the new ideas that the band and the Magik*Magik Orchestra add to the recordings. The whole album experience comes across as a lovely and intimate experience, showcasing the best of what the tour had to offer.

Some of the more hardcore fans of Death Cab for Cutie will find a great amount to enjoy on ‘Live 2012’. The experimentation in reworking some of the songs certainly adds an interesting slant to the music, giving it a great element that keeps a keen interest. However, as the album progresses, a number of tracks seem to display weaker qualities, with their reworkings and their new elements not really assisting them in any way, and in the case of a few tracks, actually taking away part of what made those songs so special in the first place. The idea of the tour is certainly interesting and works at some parts, but as demonstrated on the album it doesn’t seem to work for every single song, giving it a regrettably disappointing element.

‘Live 2012’ is certainly a nice and enjoyable release from Death Cab for Cutie. Some songs might not work as well as the band may have intended, but others certainly do, presenting brilliantly what the collaborative tour was meant to represent. It’s certainly not an essential release from the band, but for the hardcore fans of the band, ‘Live 2012’ will come across as a lovely offering from a band who has really delivered so many times throughout their career. For now, ‘Live 2012’ serves as a lovely little album that will hopefully sate the appetite until a new album comes along.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • What Sarah Said
  • No Joy In Mudville
  • Grapevine Fires
  • Transatlanticism

Death Cab for Cutie Feat. Magik*Magik Orchestra’s ‘Live 2012’ is out now.

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Transatlanticism (10th Anniversary Edition) – Death Cab For Cutie

The 10th anniversary of one of Death Cab for Cutie’s best and most rewarding records, sees a re-release of the album in its entirety, bundled together with a bonus disc featuring demo versions of each track on the album. It is here that we see the real prize in this re-release, as the demos act as simply another version of the phenomenal ‘Transatlanticism’ album. The album is packed together with the original album, and the complete demo album, offering something that is actually worth purchasing if you’re a die-hard Death Cab for Cutie fan. The original album is as perfect as ever, as we all undoubtedly know, and it is in the demo versions of the songs do we see the real reward of the 10th anniversary edition of ‘Transatlanticism’.

Back in 2003, ‘Transatlanticism’ managed to mark a brilliant transition from Death Cab for Cutie’s charming yet somewhat flawed lo-fi style, and rush straight into the alternative-rock style that the band is now well known for. Each track on ‘Transatlanticism’ offers brilliantly towards its overall shape, featuring some of their best known and most revered songs in their career. The real focus though on ‘Transatlanticism (10th Anniversary Edition)’ is the second disc of demo versions of the whole album, where we hear a raw passion in the track listing. Each track offers a different experience, with most tracks offering a radical difference to the original tracks, whether it be in the instrumentals or even in the lyrics, we we’re hinted towards different suggestions in the songs themes. The whole demo experience sounds like a complete album, making it rewarding and interesting in its own way, and acting as a very worthy companion piece to the re-released album.

‘Transatlanticism’ is an album with one or two flaws, though it still remains one of the bands best albums. The only negative traits we can find in this re-release is in the new material, which is of course the demo versions of the album. It’s hard to criticize the demo versions of the songs, as they are full to the brim of flaws and poor ideas, but ultimately these ideas never made it to the finished version of the album, and thus the flaws are what makes the demo versions so attractive and enjoyable. It seems though that the most disappointing moments on the album are the songs that don’t differ that much from their completed versions, suggesting that they don’t offer much in the ways of a new experience.

The 10th anniversary edition of ‘Transatlanticism’ sees Death Cab for Cutie brilliantly re-releasing the album in fine form. The band has managed to not just re-release the album, but bundle it up with something than fans of the band will find enjoyable and rewarding. The demo album offers an incredibly intimate insight into one of the bands best and most revered album works, and certainly makes the whole re-release actually worth paying attention to. It must be said though, that this re-release is most definitely an album release that is for the fans of the band, though the overall album package does surpass the original 2003 release. ‘Transatlanticism (10th Anniversary Edition’ is perhaps one of the better re-releases of album, as it at least manages to offer something worth purchasing, and it certainly re-affirms why this is one of Death Cab for Cutie’s best album releases thus far in their career.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs (Original Album)

  • Title & Registration
  • Tiny Vessels
  • Transatlanticism
  • A Lack Of Color

Selected Songs (Demo Album)

  • Lightness
  • The Sound Of Settling
  • Transatlanticism
  • We Looked Like Giants

Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘Transatlanticism (10th Anniversary Edition) is set for release on 29th October 2013 in both vinyl and digital formats.

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