» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Death Cab for Cutie
We Have the Facts, and We're Voting Yes
Barsuk Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Ooh La La. Glitter, glint, sparkle. Dazzle. The American Northwest has a reputation for drizzle, dilapidation and suicide and their rock reflects it. Built to Spill, Elliot Smith, you know the sound. Earthy, tangible, the smell of the Douglas Fir dripping through their amplifiers, soaking every swarthy lyric. A seraphic rock locus for everyone from Pearl Jam to Juno, the same storm center from which Death Cab for Cutie stoically erupts, spawning cyclones of tranquil melodi-rock.

While the guitar antics are spartan in comparison to their Washington laity the vocals obsess similarly to Doug Martsch's, riding warmly (yet with a hint of sketchiness) above the treble infested din of guitars, organs, glockenspiels and percussion. "Title Track," easily a keeper and mix-tape candidate, is indicative of the deceptively cadaverous yet ruthlessly infectious hooks laced throughout this album.

Back-to-back "For What Reason" and "Lowell, MA" take the established framework and take off speed walking with it like Aunt Shirley doing laps down at the mall. "Little Fury Bugs," reeking of the skeletal, reverb infested pop of their home state, slows things down again to a glacial pace. Despite their fake British poise and haircuts, Death Cab for Cutie wear their geographical origin like a sonic lapel pin. Even with the occasional indulgence of overly electric guitars ("Company Calls") and various volutions of electronic keys there is a very organic feel to this entire album, yet at the same time it retains its identity as a wholly modern pop experience. Sugary pop, that is, tangling with a dark and brooding literary smartness. The name is a reference to the Beatles but comes across like a testimonial to Catcher In the Rye.

Death Cab for Cutie is like a '69 Chevelle SS at the '69 Fourth of July picnic; quick and clean, everyone wants a ride, and guaranteed to get you a few sexy looks. They're so fine that they have been granted the privilege of being the lone bumper sticker on my car.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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