Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, September 29, 2005





Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 published on Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gris Gris/issues/arts/694105
Gris Gris
Death Cab for Cutie/issues/arts/694105
Death Cab for Cutie


Gris Gris
For the Season
(Birdman Records)
4 out of 5 stars

Your ex-hippie uncle Steve (formerly known as Windsong) would call Gris Gris a "psychedelic" or "jam rock" band, while the pompous indie rock know-it-all in the apartment below you might call it more of a "progressive-post-experimental-noise" outfit. Either way, Gris Gris's second album For the Season will make you want to drop LSD and watch the pink elephants march up and down your walls. The album is not devoid of lyrics, however there is strong emphasis on alternating instrumental waves of chaos and order. It's a bit like melting Velvet Underground records to a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club CD then trying to play it in the microwave. Somehow it ends up sounding phenomenal; must be the LSD you just dropped.


Death Cab for Cutie
(Atlantic Records)
3 1/2 out of 5 stars

While I have heard plenty of Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard's side project, The Postal Service, I must admit I am fairly uneducated on Death Cab's back catalog. This offering is a solid piece of soft rock, though not of the elevator music variety. Strummed guitars, some good drumming and bass playing and the occasional piano or trumpet create fairly mellow music to accompany Gibbard's trademark dreamy vocals. The lyrics have are fairly poetic, focusing on love and death, though refreshingly mature without feeling pretentious. From the limited experience I have with Death Cab for Cutie's other work, Plans doesn't feel like much of a departure - but with the added major label exposure, this record could make the band a lot of new fans.


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