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Ben Gibbard is the lead vocalists and guitarist for the critically acclaimed and widely-popular indie rock heavyweight Death Cab for Cutie. Death Cab blends its unique brand of indie rock with notes of emo, alternative rock, pop, and even electronic.
Ben Gibbard was also responsible for fronting the dynamic one-album wonder The Postal Service. The Postal Service is largely a two-piece consisting of Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello who formed the project back in 2001. The duo only released one full-length album in 2003 called Give Up, which has amassed a cult following and a great deal of critical acclaim to boot.
What most common listeners of Gibbard’s projects may not know is that he was actually in a third project between the formation years of Death Cab and The Postal Service called ¡All-Time Quarterback!.
Perhaps only die hard fans have heard of this lesser know project, but All-Time Quarterback’s 2 EPs and one full-length LP can easily be listed among some of Gibbard’s best works.
The side project really only had one true full-length release, which came out in 20o2, a year prior to The Postal Service’s Give Up and Death Cab’s Trasatlanticism. The record is self-entitled including the band’s stylization of two exclamation points, with one in the beginning of the title and one at the end. Such punctuation is often used in Spanish grammar.
The album is a collection of the band’s first two EPs and fits perfectly in the scheme of Gibbard’s discography. Its sandwich between Gibbard’s breakout years with his other two projects and the earlier Death Cab releases. Similarly to The Postal Service, All-Time Quarterback shares a mind for electronic music. Synthesizers and electronic drums fill the record’s emptier spots and give it a unique indietronica kind of feel.
The album is much more stripped down and lo-fi than the heavily produced Give Up. It lacks the perfectionist attitude of Jimmy Tamborello, but has more compelling and mindful lyrics.
If you’re a fan of Ben Gibbard’s work, you should definitely give All-Time Quarterback a chance. They certainly will not disappoint.