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Death Cab for Cutie - Kintsugi

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Pitchfork:
 

Death Cab for Cutie have announced their first studio album since the departure of founding member Chris Walla. It's called Kintsugi, and it's out March 31 via Atlantic. That's the cover above; you can check out the tracklist below. Walla contributed to the album before leaving, and he also inspired the title: Kintsugi is a style of Japanese art where broken ceramics are fixed using resin that's been mixed with precious metals. 
 
"In the West, if you break an heirloom, you either throw it away or you make the repair as invisible as possible," bassist Nick Harmer told Rolling Stone. "But there's this artistic movement in Japan where the repair of it, the damage of it, is more important as part of the history of something than repairing it to its original state."

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You know, it's easy to be forced and ham-handed with these kinds of metaphors, but this just seems like the perfect concept for this record. 

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Anyone? I listened through a few time and really liked the more pop-single-type songs at the beginning..."No Room in Frame" is classic. Probably the last we'll hear of those great syncopated Walla guitar lines.

Edited by Joel

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I've given it a couple of listens.  After Codes and Keys' romantic hopefulness, Kintsugi feels like a breakup album, often more placid or resigned, but other times rather bitter and angry.  I, too, liked the opening two tracks, but also enjoyed the hymn-like concluding tune.  I'm not sure yet what I make of the Flock of Seagulls-esque tracks in the middle.

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Anyone? I listened through a few time and really liked the more pop-single-type songs at the beginning..."No Room in Frame" is classic. Probably the last we'll hear of those great syncopated Walla guitar lines.

 

I'm listening to it now. I'm digging it, much more than I was expecting.

 

As for Walla's guitar lines, aren't most of the syncopated lines handled by Gibbard? I'm one of those guys who obsessively pays attention to who is playing what, and over the years Walla has tended to lean toward octaves or accenting chords (or keyboards, really). 

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I haven't seen Death Cab since maybe 2006, but I always thought it was the other way around. Maybe I need to look into this more closely - I'm considering Walla the 'lead guitarist' for most songs, is that accurate? I'm thinking of, like, the riff in the middle of "Transatlanticism."

 

Also I still can't figure out who plays what on "We Looked Like Giants." I love those dueling lines though. 

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I haven't seen Death Cab since maybe 2006, but I always thought it was the other way around. Maybe I need to look into this more closely - I'm considering Walla the 'lead guitarist' for most songs, is that accurate? I'm thinking of, like, the riff in the middle of "Transatlanticism."

 

Also I still can't figure out who plays what on "We Looked Like Giants." I love those dueling lines though. 

 

Walla is "lead" on the songs that have a clear rhythm/lead dynamic (like "I Was a Kaleidoscope"), but—like a lot of other "indie" bands—they tend to eschew the usual two-guitar format. Gibbard plays a lot of arpeggios and single-note runs, and Walla tended to swoop in around that. I always liked how they weaved their guitars together. 

 

As for "We Looked Like Giants," Walla is actually playing bass. Nick Harmer plays the more rhythmic line (which Gibbard usually handles) and Gibbard is playing the brighter open chords. 

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