Death Cab for Cutie are one of the many bands as of late to go from indie scene darlings to mainstream success. Just before the release of their major label debut, Plans, they decided to give the indie world one last thank you for propelling them to mainstream status. This thank you was in the form of the John Byrd EP, a collection of live recordings from their Transatlanticism tour. The seven tracks contained are culled from all of their Pre-Plans albums (except for Something About Airplanes). The album kicks off with "We Laugh Indoors" from the Photo Album and reaches its peak with the epic performance of "We Looked Like Giants" from Transatlanticism but not before touching on fan favorites like "Photobooth" and "405" before it comes to an end with a cover of Sebadoh's "Brand New Love".
One thing that i commend Death Cab for Cutie for doing is keeping the recording raw and giving us a true representation of their live sound. No studio overdubs, no autotuning the vocals, only what really happened on stage. Occasionally Ben Gibbard strains his vocals and is a bit out of key or Chris Walla misses a note or two, but it only acts as to prove that this was meant to be a snap shot of their live show. Also, the inclusion of the stage banter adds to the humanity of the band, plus its actually pretty funny (the bit about Barry Manilow was hilarious).
Since this is a thank you to long time fans, the raw production and lack of newer hits doesnt make this the best introduction to the band, but for completists and fans of Death Cab's older work this is a must buy (if you can find it).