Label: Atlantic Release Date: 14/04/09 Website: Death Cab For Cutie are back with a new five track EP called The Open Door, which explores the undiscovered territory of their last release, Narrow Stairs. Billed as the songs that didn't quite fit the mood of Narrow Stairs, this EP sounds different enough to not only provide the "super" fans with something to tide them over until the next "proper" release but also acts as a pretty good standalone EP for newbies, or for the people that didn't like Narrow Stairs. Generally speaking albums/EP's that are made up of discarded session material come across as being pointless. If the band weren't happy enough to put it on the album in the first place then why should I be bothered about buying it? There are exceptions to this rule, just listen to The Avalanche by Sufjan Stevens (excluding the 100 versions of 'Chicago') for proof of that. So when I heard that Death Cab would be giving it a go I was a bit skeptical. Thankfully my skepticism was unfounded. The EP works on two levels really. Firstly the songs are good and secondly they don't sound like they could have fit anywhere on Narrow Stairs, which I guess is the reason why the band decided to release this EP in the first place. Musically speaking the songs are more strum based than their Narrow Stairs siblings, with the only hint of classic Gibbard riffery coming in the form of EP highlight 'My Mirror Speaks'. The biggest similarity between this EP and Narrow Stairs, or any DCFC album really, is Gibbards ability to create meaningful lyrics without losing his pop sensibility, which isn't easy to do. So there we have it, another DCFC release and yet another reason to smile. Rating: 8/10