This is a very confusing album for me, for two reasons. Firstly,
why don't i think that i like this band as much as i do? Secondly,
why do i like this band when they don't really do anything new?
I will attempt to think through these issues in this review.
So why don't i think that i like Do Make Say Think as much
as i do? Basically, if you were to ask me, "So what's your opinion
of Do Make Say Think?" i would reply, "Oh, they're a good band..."
That is, unless i am actually playing any of the four DMST releases
that i own at that particular time. When i am listening to DMST,
they are One of the Greatest Bands to Ever Record. When i am
listening to them, i am full of wonder and excitement. I revel
in the complex interplay of guitars, multiple drum kits, and
bass. I float through their airy guitar lines, and am buffeted
by their fierce percussion. Everytime that i have listened to
anything by DMST i have enjoyed it tremendously, and not wanted
that moment to end....
But it does end, eventually. And for some reason as soon as
it is over i forget how much i was enjoying it. This really
bothers me. I look at the DMST discs on the shelf, and i rarely
drag them out. But when i do put them in the CD player, i enjoy
them tremendously. There is some sort of wierd logical disconnect
going on in my brain concerning this band, and it worries me.
However, with the release of their third full-length album,
the aptly titled
& Yet & Yet on Constellation
Records, i am making a serious effort to overcome this "brain
spasm". So i affirm the following to myself daily:
Do Make Say Think are a very good band.
All of Do Make Say Think's albums are definitely worth listening
Do Make Say Think do post-rock better than just about anybody
Which brings me to my second issue with this band: Do Make
Say Think (who are a very good band) make "post-rock". That
is, their music is instrumental guitar rock that ebbs and flows
between airy spacey drones and loud feedbacky squalls. They
are post-rock in the vein of Mogwai
and Tristeza. They also have
a slight jazzy influence thrown in, probably caused by their
multiple percussionists. This gives them a pseudo-Tortoisey
The difference is that Do Make Say Think (who are a very good
band) do it better. For example, the first track on &
Yet, & Yet, titled Classic Noodlanding, is built
out of flowing guitar melodies that intertwine and grow off
of one another. A lot like the type of stuff that Tristeza do,
except DMST sound far less intellectualized than Tristeza. The
next track, End Of Music, starts with a plodding bass
riff, thudding drums, and noodling guitars, then explodes into
a wall of energetic sound. A lot like what Mogwai or Explosions
In The Sky do, except that DMST make it seem less planned,
and more logical. As if, given the song, it could do nothing
BUT explode. After End Of Music fades out, DMST give
us White Light Of, which is their most Tortoise-y number
on this album. It starts with a light guitar melody backed by
faint strings. Eventually, jazzy drumming joins the mix, and
then horns float in. The song toddles along as a complex rock/jazz
number for a while, until everything fades away, leaving a stark
guitar piece to bring the song to it's conclusion. It's stunningly
well done, and sounds like a Tortoise song that is less akward.
I know that it sounds like i am slamming some of The Giants
Of Post-Rock here, but really -- i never would have thought
that Tristeza are over-intellectualized, that Mogwai are forcing
the noise, or that Tortoise are awkard if i had not heard DMST
do the same type of song, only better. I can't explain it any
clearer than that -- but there is something in what DMST are
doing that comes across better, that seems more organic and
alive, than those other bands.
And i like those other bands. A lot. But Do Make Say Think
do it better.
Which is why i am telling myself, on a daily basis, "Do Make
Say Think are a very good band." Indeed they are.
Now, so far i have discussed the first three of the seven songs
on this album. Three songs where in DMST out-do their predecessors.
Not content to stop there, DMST move forward, adding glitchy
noises and a strange sample of "city sounds" in Chinatown.
The city noises bring me out of the trance-like state that the
first half of the album has induced in me, which is a bonus
because the next song, Reitshule is simply stunning.
It starts with light guitars, and then builds into a Tortoise-y
flurry of percussion. Then, horns join in, complete with a rich
trumpet solo.... It's an amazing melody done with wonderful
From that tremendous peak, & Yet, & Yet fades
out slowly. Soul And Onward brings a meandering lyricless
female vocal into the mix, which begins to create an "otherworldly"
feel. Anything For Now completes this vibe through a
soft construction of spaced-out guitars. It sort of fades out,
leaving the listener fully relaxed.
Really, it's a very well-done album. Do Make Say Think (who
are a very good band) continue to impress me tremendously. Let's
hope that they tour the US this year!