Stream Death Cab’s Narrow Stairs

From the album title punchline contest to the Construction Paper Album art nicknames to the cute girl/creepy stalking video, the build-up to Narrow Stairs’ release day has felt longer than sitting through a four-minute instrumental intro. And now web rippers and law-abiding music consumers alike can listen to and discuss DCFC’s latest with clear eyes, full hearts (can’t lose). Pretty sure everybody likes it better than Plans (right?). Fans of The Photo Album, We Have The Facts…, etc. will see some moments of those good times in “Cath” and “Your New Twin Sized Bed”; DCFC lovers of the major label days won’t find anything too mean to their ears; and as most have realized/read, there are some Walla attempts at fleshing out the sounds, bringing in the tablas, turning the amps to 11 (it’s a mixed bag). The more knobs tweaked, though, the more it’s clear this is a band that will live and die by Ben’s hand: Walla, Harmer, McGerr are all right in the pocket, but this is Gibbard’s ball. When he gets it right, and he does here on a majority of tracks, Ben can twist a phrase at just the right angles, turn a melody to just the right shape. If you like Death Cab, you will like Narrow Stairs. Unless and until the band wants to give us a Great Reinvention, it’s this. And mostly, this works. Stream it at AOL.