Death Cab For Cutie, Forbidden Love EP (Barsuk)

Posted October 29th, 2000 by admin

Death Cab For Cutie
Forbidden Love EP
By: Eric G.

If it weren't for Benjamin Gibbard's melancholic lilt Death Cab For Cutie might seem like your average indie pop band, but Gibbard's voice lifts the weepy guitar pluckings out of mediocrity and makes them seem grand and eloquent. Even on a maudlin song like "Technicolor Girls", Gibbard manages to transcend the mid-tempo sludge in order to save the song from slow core obliviousness. His passive aggressive choirboy cadence comes across intelligently through a curiously self-aware lyrical style.

This EP arrives hot on the heals of the band's much-heralded second album, We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes. The three new songs are merely extensions of the same formula of introspective lyrics and oscillating melodies that We Have The Facts… so expertly showcased. There's an ever-present sense of both sadness and urgency in Death Cab For Cutie's indie pop world. "Song For Kelly Huckaby" threatens to rock out but quickly withdraws back into its fragile core, where a faux-cello keyboard line underscores a minor-keyed guitar arpeggio.

Tacked on to the end are two stripped down versions of two of the best songs off We Have The Facts… The change of setting suits both songs. Gibbard's intimacy on "405 (acoustic)" is more effective than the album take. His vocals wrap around the acoustic guitars like a natural extension of their range. "Company Calls Epilogue" sounds distant and dreamlike, utilizing the effect from the beginning "Title Track" off We Have The Facts… but never letting up.

This EP is just a small dose of what you garner from a full Death Cab For Cutie album. While it doesn't break any new ground, it does represent the band well.

Tags: review