display | more...

Fine I will admit it—on one far away and hazy Halloween night of my high school days, I went to a Death Cab for Cutie concert. Rest assured, the two most memorable events of the evening had nothing to do with seeing Death Cab. Instead I have a much stronger recollection of the opener (Pretty Girls Make Graves) and the giggly epiphany on the car ride home that some muffins I had eaten earlier (innocently provided to me by several girls dressed as the Stepford Wives) had been dosed with pot. Lesson learned: never trust free muffins on Halloween night.

Fast forward to 2015.  Of the two bands witnessed that night, sadly only one remains—Death Cab for Cutie (PGMG dissolved in 2007). And merited or not, Death Cab’s output has stayed fairly consistent; they’ve released a new album on the order of almost every two or three years. Their latest and 8th studio album, Kintsugi, is another masterpiece in mainstream mediocrity. I usually have a talent for being able to tune out and ignore the awful bile that is regularly distributed from most popular radio stations, but for some reason, Death Cab’s latest single “Black Sun” evokes in me a squeamish, nauseating feeling that could only be reserved for the most deadly of threats. Before writing this somewhat aimless review, I could only describe my thoughts about the song in fairly concise meditations: a complete waste, total garbage, utter dogshit. However now, and thankfully, I’ve been able to pinpoint exactly what it is about Death Cab for Cutie that is so especially disturbing.

Exhibit A: the music video for “Black Sun”—which I still haven’t been able to figure out (not that I believe there is anything to actually figure out, much like Gibbard’s asinine lyrics). No, the most haunting thing about the album’s leading single is when I try to imagine what a possible DCFC fan might be thinking while listening. Thanks to YouTube, I don’t have to imagine—I can read these dumbass thoughts in real time.

“For me these lyrics represent Zen and the Tao. BUDDHA RULZ lol.”

“What is a black sun?  Separate reply: “A metaphor for bad times.”

“The lead singer sounds so much like Neil Young.”

Perhaps it’s the last of these three comments that is the most egregious, who knows, but what’s the most concerning about people enjoying this drivel is not that they’re actually enjoying it, but that they’re being made to feel intelligent while doing so. Thanks to Gibbards bland, lobotomized, vaguely biblical lyrics (“There is fear in the eyes of your father. And there is “Yours” and there is “Mine”) listeners are welcome to interpret the song in pretty much whatever fashion they like. Nevermind that Chris Cornell has already done this exact song. Kids these days don’t want Cornell, they want this.

As for the rest of the album, I’ve fast forwarded through the entirety and that alone was a grueling and awful chore. I’ll go ahead and challenge you to try and honestly listen to this album from start to finish without feeling like you’ve lost a small portion of your soul in the process.  No, wait, I don’t—because that would be fucking insane. Kintsugi, which Wikipedia defines as “the art of reparing broken pottery…a philosophy that treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object” sounds like a very nice and pleasant Japanese tradition. Thanks to Ben Gibbard, it’s now also a Death Cab for Cutie album title.

Shame on you sir. 

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.