Rhythm & Views

Do Make Say Think

The term "post-rock" seems to be a catchall category for rock bands that play predominantly instrumental music. It is applied to groups as divergent as Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Mono. The Toronto-based musical cooperative Do Make Say Think gets painted with that brush, too.

Like the others, DMST's sound is more complicated than that, drawing in jazz influences and occasional horns borrowed from a 1960s Burt Bacharach arrangement. The result, on the band's fifth album, is heavenly.

"A Tender History in Rust" is a quiet tone-poem with John Fahey-style folk overtones, a quiet drone of violin, some whistling and wordless vocalizing, while the dark lament "You, You're Awesome" takes a rural blues route, but with spacey guitar melodies.

Like many other instrumental rock bands, DMST relies on dynamic arrangements to substitute for lyrics. The act of creating a pattern and then violating the listener's expectations is beautifully explored in "The Universe!" and reaches its apotheosis on the epic "Executioner Blues."

For the first time, Do May Say Think includes vocals on some songs. Perhaps the most conventional are those on "A With Living," which is sung by Tony Dekker of the Great Lake Swimmers. Akron/Family joins on the last track, "In Mind," a sweet, banjo-led romp in which distorted electric guitar rises to flirt with, and finally abandon, anthemic tendencies.

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