Review Summary: Do Make Say Think better themselves yet again with the most richly diverse release of their career thus far.
For over 10 years now, Do Make Say Think
have been one of the more impressive bands on the Constellation Records roster, alongside such other acts as Godspeed You! Black Emperor
, Fly Pan Am
and A Silver Mt. Zion
(or whatever they're called this week). They've been used to great effect in films such as Syriana
and The Corporation
(a film which would seem to share a lot of views with Constellation). Over the years, Do Make Say Think have gained a reputation for being increasingly consistent, each record being better than the one before it. Three years in the making, You, You're a History in Rust
is the fifth Do Make Say Think album.
In the last year or so, it has become something of a cliché in itself for music journalists to talk about post-rock as stagnating genre of music that relies on little more than clichés. Post-rock is dead or at least dying, apparently. If this is to be believed - and it certainly isn't wrong that many post-rock bands use same recycled major key riffs over and over - then Do Make Say Think have really thrown a spanner into the works with You, You're a History in Rust
. Not that they haven't been a very different sort of band from the start; their use of a dominating bass guitar, their spacey electronics and their jazz-style drums have long set them apart from their peers.
When most of the standards of the post-rock genre are considered, it's fantastic to see how few of them are present on You, You're a History in Rust
. There are no crescendos, loud/soft dynamics, repetitive building riffs or long ambient/noise sections. The music involves the listener, each song being a different experience, yet is not dramatic or overly emotional in the vein of Sigur Ros
or Explosions in the Sky
. The album even has sections that are heavily influenced by folk, country or bluegrass music, something that you would be hard pressed to find on an average post-rock album.
"A With Living" (as well as the closer, "In Mind"), the gorgeous second track of You, You're a History in Rust
features a first for Do Make Say Think; vocals, albeit fairly unconventional ones. The vocals, courtesy of guests and not the band, sound much more like the freak-folk leanings of bands such as Animal Collective and make the song feel more like a front-porch folk tune than a rock epic. Elsewhere, "The Universe!" is probably the loudest, heaviest Do Make Say Think song ever. Thankfully, it doesn't trade melody for chaos and, featuring stop-start dynamics, heavily distorted guitars, pounding drums, is one of the album's most beautiful tracks.
You, You're a History in Rust
is one a wonderful album with 8 tracks, all contributing to whole work (perhaps a common theme), yet wonderfully unique from each other in terms of timbre and instrumentation. Once again, Do Make Say Think have proved themselves to be one of the most exceptional bands creating instrumental music. Their musicianship is flawless and there, quite honestly, are very few moments of imperfection. You, You're a History in Rust
is nothing short of an experience; emotional enough to take the listener on a journey, and subtle enough so that not a moment of the record feels contrived. At this point in time, You, You're a History in Rust
is both the best album for Do Make Say Think yet and the best album for 2007 yet.