Death Cab For Cutie, Koko, London
Thursday 24 July 2008
Ever since Death Cab for Cutie appeared on The OC, they started to see the adulation and mainstream success they receive at home filter across the Atlantic. Tonight's iTunes gig is a warm-up for their sold-out show in Brixton Academy and emo and indie fans are queuing round the venue.
Plans, their first release on Atlantic Records, went platinum in February, and their latest April release Narrow Stairs re-invents them with a darker edge to the introspective, sometimes saccharine indie pop of their earlier five albums.
Frontman Ben Gibbard and the band deftly move from one song to the next often without a pause, recreating the expansive sound of their recordings. Early on comes "Crooked Teeth", a big-hearted melody, while "Summer Skin" blends dreamy chiming guitars with the beat of a marching band. It's these big melodies that work best on tonight's crowd, as does the sun-kissed, light-hearted pop of "No Sunlight". One of their best melodies, "Soul Meets Body", gets the singalong it calls out for, its repeated refrain "a melody softly soaring through my atmosphere" summing up the effect it has on its listener.
Death Cab may not be strangers to the eight-minute song, but new single "I Will Possess Your Heart" is ambitious even by their standards, its instrumentation is part Wilco and measured vocals part Interpol. Four minutes of heavy bass, drum beat and the building layers of guitars, darker and moodier-sounding than on record, pass before Gibbard's voice comes in. When it does, the sharp contrast threatens to break the tension that they've done so well to create; they almost seem to lose it at the critical point when the vocals interrupt the dark multi-layered wall of sound, but Gibbard pulls it all back together, nailing the rhythm before drums and guitars restart, prompting the crowd to clap to the hypnotic beat. When the eight minutes come to a close, it seems too early.
The final song "Transatlanticism" builds up to a crescendo with drummer Jason McGerr thumping the drums with arms raised. With their music finally gaining transatlantic recognition, what could be a more appropriate closing song?
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Calvin Harris named highest-paid DJ in the world ahead of David Guetta and Avicii
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
The funniest joke at Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Tim Vine wins for second time
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head