Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


You, You're a History in the Rust

  Do Make Say Think  
Release Date:


Reviewed by:

This Do Make Say Think's fifth album. Wow, has it really been that long? And it has been 3 years since Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn, an album that i found disappointing because it sounded like they were coasting. Sure, they had been doing basically the same thing for years, but by the time that record came out, much of the magic had left the band.

I think they felt that too, because in the intervening years members of DMST have been involved with Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. In fact, DMST opened for BSS during a sold out show at The Variety Playhouse last year. (And don't ask me how they sounded because i was unable to get in....)

Do Make Say Think, you see, had become trapped in a cartoon version of "post rock". (Not that other bands aren't trapped in that still...) The music had become codified, rigid almost in its need for ebb and flow variety. It had become by-the-numbers.

Broken Social Scene, on the other hand, take a dozen or so people, throw them into a studio, and let them play around. The result (so far) has been two joyously lively records. It is as if the musicians had so much fun playing that the music itself gained some of that fun. Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn wasn't a fun record. It was competent, and at times beautiful, but there was no sense of joy in the music. Playing with BSS has given that sense of joy back to DMST, and it really shows on You, You're a History In Rust.

Take the tune A With Living as an example. No member of DMST is a great singer (probably why their previous 4 records have been instrumental), but here they sing. Not well, not with great harmonies and soaring vocal melodies, but they place a line of vocals over their guitarwork to add depth, and it sounds like they had fun doing it. There is something raw and beautiful about the relatively crappy vocals on this song. (Really guys -- couldn't you have found some friend who at least knows how to carry a tune in a bucket to guest on this one song?) There is a spirit of experimentation and play that really makes the song work. It also helps that the guitarwork over with they (badly) sing is exquisite: a lesser band would not have been able to pull this off.

Other songs on here really soar as well. Bound to Be That Way, Executioner Blues, and especially Herstory of Glory celebrate playing and intertwining guitar parts for the sheer joy of it in a way that reminds me of their masterpiece Goodbye Enemy Airship, the Landlord Is Dead. These songs look back at where they have been, and add back in the sense of fun and the joy of playing that typified those earlier releases.

In Mind, on the other hand, is a very Broken Social Scene kind of song. There is singing here, again not great, but competent, and some really dense noisy rock. DMST are not, normally, a noisy band. Their post-rock is delicate and built out of subtle layers. Well, here they break out the distortion pedals and really tear into it. It works though, it really does.

On the other hand, You, You're Awesome strips the band down to a simple blues riff. It's minimalism in the extreme, and eventually they layer a simple, mournful horn over the top. It's different for them, but it works well.

I am glad to see that the DMST boys have rediscovered their love of what they do. Good for them. I hope they keep it up. Overall, i like this record. It is engaging -- a real return to form for the band. They won't win any new fans, but they have shown once again that they are very good at what they do.

Related Links:

Label Site:
Band Site:
Band MySpace:
Also on EvilSponge:
     Album:Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead
     Album: & Yet & Yet
     Album: Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
     Concert: Tues.5.Oct.04


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.