Weezer-death-cab-for-cutie Music fans, get out your diaries and cancel any appointments you’ve got for next Wedneday and Thursday. You’re going to be at the O2 Academy Brixton, where two giants of the indie-cum-emo music scene are playing back to back: Weezer and Death Cab For Cutie.

Unlike Yorkshire lads The Music, who are playing a swansong at the venue soon after, both bands are still going strong, so it’s only fair we pit them against each other in our latest battle of the bands. Read on to see how they stack up.

Indie pedigree


Weezer have achieved a cult status that compares to few other bands still playing today. MTV has proclaimed them the most important band of the last ten years, and while their sound is more “lite”, they still channel some of the spirit of former label-mates, grunge legends Nirvana. But that reputation is largely built on the band’s earliest hits – where Death Cab For Cutie have proven to be consistently inventive, mixing up styles for each album. 

Death Cab For Cutie

By coincidence, Death Cab For Cutie originate from the very same state as Nirvana, but their sound couldn’t be more different. By coincidence or not, the Washington group really came to prominence as the word “emo” began to be tossed around in the mid-naughties. While mainstream success has had much to do with soundtrack tie-ins, the band has developed a loyal fan base that has stayed true through the band’s changing line-up and album sounds.



Weezer have been going strong for almost twenty years: the band first formed in 1992. Frontman Rivers Cuomo and drummer Patrick Wilson have held the fort for two decades, while guitarist Brian Bell has been with the band since 1993. The band has had no fewer than three bass guitarists in its time.

Death Cab For Cutie

Though Death Cab For Cutie were only signed to a major label in 2004, the band’s history actually stretches back to 1997, when the band formed from a side project of singer Ben Gibbard. Like Weezer, the band seems to have a cursed rhythm section: Death Cab For Cutie has seen two drummers come and go, though the third, Jason McGerr, has now been with the group since 2003.

Must watch video

Weezer, “Buddy Holly” 

It may have only reached number twelve in the UK, but this battle cry to gawky, would-be hipsters, has proved to be Weezer’s most enduring and memorable song.

Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body”

This 2005 single captures the band in its transition to a more melodic, tuneful group, with just as much focus on instruments as lyrics.

Alt rock chat


Rivers Cuomo on Foo Fighters: “It’s the most explosive, intense rock phenomenon ever seen. I am in awe every night…(Dave Grohl) has such endless energy and intensity night after night screaming his lungs out. I don’t see how he does it.”

Death Cab For Cutie

Ben Gibbard on recording: “For me, I find myself being more obsessed with destinations and endings over the last couple years, even when something is going really well. I like the idea of having a love song about people dying rather than love songs about walking hand in hand down the sand.”

And the winner is…

Tie. Weezer may be the elder of the two bands, but it doesn’t mean that Death Cab For Cutie aren’t veterans either – they’ve got an ear for a melody, and the fans to back it up. Still, with both on at the O2 Academy Brixton, why even choose between them?

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