Photo Finish

Death Cab for Cutie sees itself as just a guitar band. You might not agree.

More than that, I think to myself, back in rock-philosophy mode, it's the way songwriter Gibbard and producer Walla's particular skills intertwine that lends the music they make together its special signature--a sort of scruffy-slouch version of Lennon/McCartney, where each guy's strengths fit right in with the other's, and who does what becomes as tricky to tell for us as it is for them.

"It gets to the point where it's really hard to keep track of sounds and performances and songs," Walla says, maybe starting to approach the wavelength I'm trying to invite them to, "to keep them all straight. That's just how it's been so far." When the confusion sounds this good, who cares if they ever figure it out?

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