A lot of my music taste is seasonal: factors like the time of year, what I’m doing that day, or how bad traffic is on the freeway all affect my musical mood and tastes. Luckily the weather has been absolutely delightful lately, so I’m listening to an Indie band I’ve liked for quite a while. Death Cab for Cutie is famous for their “wall of sound” – a method of leveling all the instrument signals at the same volume, like a wall, rather than give priority to a to any one instrument. The music just hits you all at once.
I was very impressed with their new “Kintsugi” album and I’m keeping my eyes peeled for their SoCal tour dates. This new album is mellower than what fans are used to, which might put off some long time listeners. One song in particular,“Hold No Guns,” is an acoustic-guitar track that ditches the Wall of Sound completely. But to a curious first-timer, this album is a great way to discover Death Cab and their earlier work. Each drum beat, guitar strum,and bass note sounds crisp and does not overextend its measure or due duration. While a large credit goes to the mixers, you can’t have a good mix without a good recording. And a good recording depends on a good band. For an indie band like DCFC, executing good control is a highly-sought prized. But often the flip-side of full control can be clean, crisp sound that lacks passion. “Kintsugi” doesn’t have that feeling at all, which makes it exceptional in that sense. Death Cab has been around since the late 1990’s.
They were my girl’s favorite band in middle school. Back then, I was barely exploring outside symphonic metal, so I wrote them off as a band I should have in my iTunes, but not on my iPod as a definition of who I was. I finally “discovered” Death Cab in my senior year of high school (which is almost as bad as discovering Gorillaz in college), I realized how special these guys were. I wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly when or what got me to step outside of the metal genre, but I’ve enjoyed several good albums from them over the years, including my still-personal favorite Codes and Keys. And while they are definitely not a mosh-worthy band, “Kintsugi” has several songs that make you want to groove. Kintsugi is out now and available to download on Amazon.
by Nate Woodside