On their long awaited comeback, Death Cab For Cutie return to the quiet suburban streets of ‘Movie Script Ending’. But those streets aren’t so quiet anymore…
Ben Gibbard hasn’t had much of a social conscience during his time helming Death Cab. These songs were highly personal, focused tightly on the struggles of everyday life and the melodrama of romance one experiences in their twenties and thirties.
‘Million Dollar Loan’ – a one off single as part of a collection of protest songs aimed at The Donald – represented something of a sea-change. Gibbard’s writing began to look outward. It continues to on ‘Gold Rush’.
It recalls the vivid descriptions of sleepy suburban life (and the wish to escape it) which informed The Photo Album all those years ago. “New bottoms on bar stools, but people remain the same.” Except now, those people are gone. In their place: Yuppies. Rapacious, renovating, rambunctious Gen Y couples looking for loft conversions and organic beer gardens.
Over McCartneyesque lyrical dalliance and a Yoko Ono sample, Gibbard bemoans the gentrification of his hometown, and many urban centres through America and beyond. The video may recall ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ but where Richard Ashcroft’s shoulder-barging showcased rugged individualism, here Gibbard is swamped by crowds he tries in vain to politely squeeze through. ‘Gold Rush’ isn’t about You v Them. It’s about the struggle to be decent in spite of it.