DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

From Galaxie 500 to Creeper Lagoon, indie rock has never lacked for head-in-the-clouds romanticism, and Death Cab for Cutie–a quartet formed in Bellingham, Washington, about an hour north of Seattle–is making sure there’ll be no shortage in the foreseeable future. Death Cab’s recent second album, We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes (Barsuk), is so sweet it could send a diabetic reeling and so languid it should carry an advisory against operating heavy machinery. Songwriter-guitarist Benjamin Gibbard’s vocal and guitar parts echo each other, both unrolling in steady, unhurried patterns that occasionally climb high and loop around; they’re so pleasant I don’t even mind when he recycles his favorite melodies. Unlike Built to Spill or Quasi, fellow heart-on-the-sleeve rockers from the rainy northwest, Death Cab are less melancholy than overawed, and while this can sometimes come off as empty-headed, at their best they seem to be groping their way to a better handle on the big picture. Anyway, they’re still young: since they started playing a little over two years ago, they’ve built a remarkable word-of-mouth reputation, even outside Seattle, and I doubt any of them expected to be touring the country behind an album recorded at their bassist’s mom’s house. Friday, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Christine Taylor.