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Death Cab for Cutie may now be destined for different things, as Chris Walla heads off in his own direction after seventeen years with the group. The indie rock band is now wrapping up their eighth album, which is expected to be released sometime early in 2015. Their last album, Codes and Keys, was released in 2011, and explored new sounds for Death Cab for Cutie. Codes and Keys differs from the guitar-laden 2008 album Narrow Stars in that it takes advantage of Ben Gibbard’s electronic abilities while still maintaining that lachrymose tinge Death Cab is known for. Check out FDRMX‘s track-by-track album review for Codes and Keys below.
1. “Home Is A Fire” opens the album with a hectic and percussion-heavy beat, driving the song forward. The vocals echo and contrast the beat they slowly drip from line to line.
2. “Codes and Keys” is an anthem track as well as the title track, but unlike your typical anthem, this song has strings arranged on it, paired with the solid boom-chuck, boom-chuck-chuck drumbeat.
3. “Some Boys” has a strong chugging bass line courtesy of Nick Harmer, that keeps the song moving forward while Ben Gibbard’s lyrics spooky lyrics “Some boys don’t know how to love” rise up above the instrumentation. This
4. “Doors Unlocked and Open” with more of a classic rock drum beat, and light guitar riff, this track is about new life out west – in California specifically, and paints a perfect picture in your mind of what it feels like to be there. “Isolation… California….”
5. “You Are a Tourist” “When there’s a burning in your heart,” words of someone who is fleeing home for the first time.
6. “Unobstructed Views” opens with an incredibly long electronic lead in, taking up most of the first half of the song. It creates an atmosphere of floating through time and space.
7. “Monday Morning” has very intriguing lyrics, such as, “She may be young but she only likes old things.” This song brings us out of the morose sounds of the previous tunes and back to an upbeat place.
8. “Portable Television” is driven by a bar room sounding piano with Jason McGerr‘s percussion serving a more decorative purpose. The overall sound of the song as well as its name makes you slightly nostalgic for old times past.
9. “Underneath the Sycamore” echoing plinky piano starts out this track, because a closer, more classic rock guitar, bass and drums rhythm kicks in. “We are the same / underneath the sycamore” the words, the beat, everything is catchy in this song and is an album standout.
10. “St. Peter’s Cathedral” is bare bones voice and synth at the beginning, this builds and builds slowly until by the end of the song it’s become something huge.
11. “Stay Young Go Dancing” lucky for us, the album closes out on a hopeful note in this waltz. It is however, uncharacteristically acoustic, yet it doesn’t detract from the song in the least.
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