Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Death Cab for Cutie – Meet Me on the Equinox



Michaelangelo Matos: At last, a teen-movie vampire writes a song in the voice of Ben Gibbard.

Martin Skidmore: Soft mainline US college rock, that I guess wants to be atmospheric and moving, but just sounds like one of the bands in the background at The Bronze in Buffy that all the kids mystifyingly liked.

Matt Cibula: I once tried to make sesame-peanut noodles with peanut butter and vinegar. I puked. This single is somewhat more successful than that attempt, but not by a lot. How did these guys become such a game-changer anyway?

Alfred Soto: As U2 loses their talent for successfully imitating themselves, other bands have stepped up, the most surprising of which is this collection of mewling cuties. The guitar hook and Ben Gibbard’s voice are pitched at acceptable levels of pomposity, but restrained by Gibbard’s instinctive caution. This produces a tension, careful and impressive, that you don’t often hear in purported arena-rock moves. If it’s a misfire, credit Gibbard’s honesty; acting like Kings of Leon is bad faith only Brandon Flowers understands.

Alex Ostroff: Is it just me, or have Ben Gibbard’s once-great hook-crafting abilities diminished as Death Cab’s popularity has increased? The man who wrote earworms like “I Was a Kaleidoscope”, “Photobooth” and “The Sound of Settling” is reduced to atmospherics and repeated mantras with wisdom stolen from the fifth season tagline of Six Feet Under.

John Seroff: As with the Black Eyed Peas’ tribute to half-and-half, this only commands one ear’s worth of attention.

Doug Robertson: Given that even Placebo sound a bit bored with being Placebo these days, it’s hard to understand why Death Cab for Cutie seem to think it’s a good template to follow.

Jonathan Bradley: Don’t know if it’s actually about vampires, but Ben Gibbard seems to enjoy the opportunity to play the homme fatale here, intoning “Everything ends” with a moderately impressive amount of doom. There’s a bit of that same helpless descent in the brisk rhythm, too, though it’s produced with the same crisp, dry palette Chris Walla used on Narrow Stairs, the band’s most recent record. That aesthetic was less absorbing than the enveloping Northwestern gloom of the band’s classic material, a choice that made little sense sonically, and in this case, makes absolutely none thematically. One of the few things I know about the Twilight series, the second film of which this soundtracks, is that it is set in the Olympic peninsula town of Forks. “Meet Me On The Equinox” would better suit the evergreen richness of Transatlanticism-era Death Cab; instead it has merely the sound of “Grapevine Fires” without that song’s emotional richness.

Hillary Brown: To quote the directions of Sam Raimi, as reiterated many times in the commentary to Army of Darkness: “More! Bigger!!” This song could really use some genuinely anthemic elements, not just mild tendencies in that direction. As is, it’s okay jangle, but it fades quickly.

Chuck Eddy: If this was released in September, as seems likely, it doesn’t give whoever they’re singing to much time to pack, seeing how Autumnal Equinox was September 22. Vernal Equinox isn’t until March 20, so that’d be easier. But their instructions are as vague as the tune.

Additional Scores

Anthony Easton: [4]
Al Shipley: [4]

7 Responses to “Death Cab for Cutie – Meet Me on the Equinox”

  1. “Michaelangelo Matos: At last, a teen-movie vampire writes a song in the voice of Ben Gibbard.”

    There’s precedent!:

  2. http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=1300

    Messed up my joke.

  3. That’s more like a made-for-Comedy-Central-TV-movie vampire.

  4. Martin, Death Cab For Cutie is definitely a better band name than Dingoes Ate My Baby is. But then, I don’t think Dingoes Ate My Baby was supposed to be a good name.

    (Fwiw, I don’t hate this song.)

  5. (Well, actually I do hate this song, now that I’m paying attention to the lyrics. But the melody and the arrangement have merit.)

  6. […] Cab For Cutie – Meet Me on the Equinox (6) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Death Cab in Singapore??Death of an Interior […]

  7. The sun’s highest point is the summer solstice, not the equinoxes. Duh