Death Cab For Cutie: The Open Door EP

Death Cab For Cutie: The Open Door EP

 

It’s a testament to Death Cab For Cutie’s continuing creative peak that even the band’s leftovers still sound pretty great—and they even flow together nicely. The Open Door EP gathers the crumbs from the Narrow Stairs sessions, and the connective tissue among them seems to be that they’re jauntier and more rocking than the tracks that made the album. That leaves plenty of room for Ben Gibbard’s not-so-secret weapon: melancholy wrapped in snap-along, hummable songs. “Little Bribes” describes lonely people kissing in a casino town, and “My Mirror Speaks” speeds on a martial beat, but describes a typically sad type, complete with Gibbard’s often-great lyrics about loss. Same with the wonderfully fuzzy “I Was Once A Loyal Lover” (haters will have a field day with that title, but Death Cab makes it work), which sounds almost unfinished, like old-school DCFC, but is all the better for it. A demo version of Stairs’ “Talking Bird” stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the tracks, and it’s mostly for diehards: It’s simply Gibbard and a ukulele getting extra-wistful. None of these songs would’ve found a great home on Narrow Stairs, but taken together, they make a worthy addition to a solid catalog.
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