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Death Cab for Cutie

Something About Airplanes (Barsuk)

Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Dec. 19, 2008

Reissues

Death Cab for Cutie

Something About Airplanes (Barsuk)

The last decade has seen Death Cab for Cutie evolve from Bellingham, Wash., college rockers into millennial idols. Former playground Barsuk releases the 10th anniversary of the band's debut LP, along with a live recording of DCFC's first Seattle show. It's all very cute – Ben Gibbard not yet master of voice or lyrics, Chris Walla neither producer nor guitarist extraordinaire – but Airplanes sounds as if it were recorded in a basement on an eight-track (it was). Despite glimpses of the future Death Cab ("Fake Frowns," "President of What?"), without remastering or remixing, the album is of little relevance, the accompanying show notable only for Smiths cover "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" with Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson at the mic. As Nelson admits in the liner notes, "On disc, well, it's a good show – of historical value and obvious interest to any serious Death Cab for Cutie fan (at least a few of whom were born that very night) – but plainly just the beginning."

**

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