The Open Door EP | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Death Cab for Cutie

The Open Door EP


May 21, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Before they hit the big time and had money coming out of their ears, Death Cab For Cutie toured in a van, slept on floors and played small, smoky clubs rather than thousand-seater theaters and arenas. And, in between records (which were generally superior to their more recent work) they put out stop gap EPs to keep the bills paid and fans satiated between full-lengths.

So now on the heels of last year’s Narrow Stairs LP comes The Open Door EP, with four songs culled from the Stairs sessions and a ukulele-backed demo-version of Stairs’ “Talking Bird.” By and large the material is decent, though despite what the band might say it’s easy to see why these tracks didn’t make the cut. Opener “Little Bribes,” while memorable with its acoustic two-chord base, doesn’t feel like it would’ve fit alongside the more subdued, somber Stairs. Along with “A Diamond and a Tether” the EP opens poorly in comparison to their would-be full-length, leaving the listener secure that the band knew what it was doing when crafting its latest.

Up next, however, are “My Mirror Speaks” and “I Was Once A Loyal Lover,” wherein Gibbard sings “All my friends are forward thinking/Getting hitched and quitting drinking,” thereby encapsulating the band’s entire output over the course of its last three LPs. Those two could’ve easily made the cut for Narrow Stairs, and upon hearing them buttressed against “Talking Bird” it’s surprising that they weren’t deemed up to snuff, while the latter was.

The Open Door feels enough like a legitimate Death Cab release to merit serious listening, rather than be cast off as a blatant cash grab. The material isn’t always up to par the way earlier between-the-records EPs were, but it still beats the hell out of Plans. (

Author rating: 6/10

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May 22nd 2009

“The material isn’t always up to par the way earlier between-the-records EPs were, but it still beats the hell out of Plans.”
THANK YOU. and agreed.

May 30th 2009

This is an ok ep.  I have to say that none of their recent material is even close to their earlier albums.

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January 12th 2010

because i sure as hell do! i am not going to be one of those people getting hard-ons because the game that has been hyped higher than the second coming of christ is arriving! i will wait a week, check the reviews then make a income tax preparation

September 10th 2013

This piece was a lifecajket that saved me from drowning.

September 13th 2013

Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new inphoe 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!