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  & Yet & Yet  
  Do Make Say Think  
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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 to.
Do Make Say Think do post-rock better than just about anybody else.

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 feel.

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 instrumentation.

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!

Related Links:
  Goodbye Enemy Airship, The Landlord Is Dead, the second full-length by Do Make Say Think  

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