Described by Atlantic Records as a ‘supportive brotherhood’, and everyone else as ‘rabidly independent’ – a troubling duplicity, Death Cab for Cutie are one of Indie Rock’s anti-celebrity success stories.
Reaching significant prominence through Barsuk Records, the Seattle based Independent that signed them in 1997, tracks from their 4th studio album, Transatlanticism, were featured on TV dramas; The OC, Californication, Six Feet Under and CSI: Miami. Whilst a subsequent ‘long term worldwide’ deal with Atlantic Records in 2004 saw their 5th studio album, Plans, nominated for ‘Best Alternative Album’ at the 51st Grammy Awards in 2005.
Defending their move to the majors, front man and founder, Ben Gibbard, explained, “we’ve been handed this opportunity where we can make a real dent in popular music that we never would have had”, further reiterating his point by saying, “to set the record straight for god knows the millionth time, we didn’t sign to Atlantic for just the money.” Admirable politics, although joining Death Cab for Cutie’s official fan club, or ‘DCFC Union’, will cost you $30 per annum.
Death Cab for Cutie have fluctuated along the indie/pop/rock spectrum, being penned as everything from ‘foggy, grunge-pop’, to a ‘literate, whispery style, the kind of stuff that normally sounds better in headphones’, during their 15 year tenure.
But cut the crap and you’ll hear solid melodic rock with a twist, from the lip stick mirror graffiti of ‘What Sarah Said’ to the John Cale self indulgence of ‘I Will Posses Your Heart’. An identifiable style with something to say.
Releasing their 7th studio album, Code and Keys, in May this year, Death Cab for Cutie are back touring Northern America and Europe. UK Brummies get to see them on Friday.
Death Cab for Cutie play the Birmingham Ballroom on Fri Nov 18th. For tickets and info visit http://www.birmingham-ballroom.com
Check out our www.facebook.com/birminghamreview this week for Death Cab for Cutie promos & videos. Ceri Black will be covering the gig for the Birmingham Review.