Death Cab For Cutie’s Open Door


Though Death Cab For Cutie has forever changed their sound, listening to them continues to be a love – even when the band yields sub-par arrangements and lyrics. Of course, this is uncommon for the band.

Death Cab For Cutie has been wrongly clumped into the category of modern emo music in recent years. This newest strain of emo music that has hit the mainstream airwaves is not tradition, nor is it decent. The new strain mares all past respectable compositions of emo music. This is something Death Cab For Cutie is not. Death Cab For Cutie is, in fact, an indie-rock band.

The Open Door EP is a small collection of tracks not included on the band’s latest full-length album Narrows Stairs, though the band refuses to label them b-sides. The tracks are all too “happy” to be added to Narrow Stairs, save for the demo version of “Talking Birds.”

The first track “Little Bribes” sets the upbeat, head-bobbing, foot-tapping mood of the EP. Death Cab For Cutie seldom uses poor lyrics – and “Little Bribes” is no different. The band merges images of slot machines and robots in the line: 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. Further in the song we see the lyrics continue the introspection that is prevalent in most of Death Cab For Cutie’s work: You said this city has a beating heart / That pushes people down the boulevard / And they’re all hoping for a wish fulfilled / In a desert for a dollar bill / Those foolish dreams, you know they plague me still…And oh so empty were the faces of the dealers and the waitresses around.

“A Diamond And A Tether” contains the story of a man who has issues with commitment. It’s a great track, but has no lyric that stands alone or above the rest. The track holds a decent chorus, but, like the rest of The Open Door EP, is forgettable – that is, until you hear it again. Luckily, you fall in love all over.

“My Mirror Speaks” seems to draw images of a young adult, passionate in his life, trying to find meaning and duty, but becomes disillusioned by the world. “I Was Once A Loyal Lover” is most like older Death Cab tracks, as it seems to be somewhat unfinished and unpolished – the things, aside from great lyrics and style, that generally coaxed people into listening to the band back in 1998. “I Was Once A Loyal Lover” is most likened to a relationship in which someone has been disenchanted by past relationships and is, like in Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism track “Expo ’86,” “waiting for something to go wrong” or waiting for “crippling defeat.”

Artist: Death Cab For Cutie
Album: The Open Door EP
Label: Atlantic
Rating: 8 / 10

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