Death Cab for Cutie – The Open Door EP
Record Label: Atlantic / Barsuk Records
Release Date: April 14th, 2009
Every so often, I really like to go to stores like Best Buy, Target, and Barnes and Noble among others just to see what kind of music they have. I’ll look through everything, and chances are, I always find something that interests me. A few years ago, I found a copy of the Death Cab for Cutie EP The Open Door. If you’re a fan of indie-rock/folk, Death Cab for Cutie is an integral band, because they’re one of the most well known bands of the genre, and Ben Gibbard is one of the most well known vocalists of the genre as well. This is the EP that got me into the band themselves, and it holds up fairly well. It’s one of my favorite EPs of all time, to be honest. I also credit this EP with helping me get into indie-rock, because they were one of the first bands of the genre I ever listened to. I definitely am glad I did, because I don’t know where my music taste would be without this EP, essentially. I know that’s a big claim to make, but this EP has been quite influential, and certainly has stood the rest of time for me as well; I’ve had it for a couple of years, and I can play it like it was first time I’ve ever listened to it.
The EP starts off with “Little Bribes,” which is my second favorite song on the five-song EP. One of the first things I immediately noticed was Ben Gibbard’s very distinct voice, and that really pulled me in. Alongside his voice were his lyrics, and these are something else that I really enjoyed when I first listened to this EP, and still enjoy today. This song in particular is absolutely brilliant, in terms of the lyrics. “You pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello / The people stare into their eyes, and they feed them little bribes, and then they go.” I found that extremely clever when I first heard this song. It’s easily one of my favorites on the EP. I also love the overall melody, too. Next track “A Diamond and a Tether” also has a very interesting lyrical theme, this time about love. While I do enjoy Gibbard’s lyrics, he does talk an awful lot about love and getting hurt. “A Diamond and a Tether” doesn’t slow the EP down whatsoever, and it really works. While third track, “My Mirror Speaks,” is absolutely fantastic, my favorite track is fourth track, “I Was Once a Loyal Lover.” This song sounds like the musical equivalent to “Little Bribes,” but a bit better. The EP closes out with “Talking Bird (Demo), and it’s exactly that – a demo. It’s done on a ukulele, and it really works for the song, however, the song itself is quite slow. It’s not boring to where the song is awful, but just slows it down quite a bit. It’s not a bad closing song, but it’s not as energetic as the rest of the EP was.
As I mentioned earlier, I think this EP is a really good place to start if you’re either new to indie-rock or just Death Cab for Cutie in general. It’s a nice 17-minute burst of Death Cab, and really just shows off their musical abilities. Granted, all of their releases are different, but if you’re just looking for something quick, as I mentioned, this is the perfect place to start.