Review Summary: A great album from the innovative and genre-bending Canadian outfit.
For the past several years, Do Make Say Think have become one of the best bands in not only the post-rock genre, but music in general. After the early days of slow moving, dub influenced albums, the band has concentrated more on formal composition and arrangements instead of spacey atmospheric jams. A few songs such as When the Day Chokes the Night from Goodbye Enemy Airship, showed the start of this trend, and then the magnificent Winter Hymn completed the thought. So what would be next from a band that has clearly grown and become better with each passing album?
The result is You, You're a History in Rust, a beautiful album that sweeps across various genres without feeling disjointed or overly eclectic. To define the album as post-rock is to hamper it's brilliance. There is an undertone of the post-rock influence with a few crescendos and walls of noise , most notably at the end of Executioner's Blues, one of the best tracks on the album with it's jazzy percussion rhythms and shifting theme. The album draws influences from jazz, punk rock, folk and blues.
The album opens with Born to Be That Way, an epic piano driven piece that immediately grabs the listener and makes them not want the song to end. It is followed by what has become typical of DMST lately, and that is something different. Well different for the band as the song (A With Living) is a conventional verse-chorus-verse piece, and vocals is a first for DMST. Still, despite being verse-chorus-verse, the band is still able to turn it into something different by having the track be 9 minutes long, including a 3 minute wind down. Unfortunately the addition of vocals seems to not suit the band as A With Living is ultimately the least fulfilling piece on the album, it’s good, not great.
The next piece is the epic The Universe! and the exclamation mark is certainly earned as it is probably the loudest song DMST has ever produced. The shear chaotic, yet poignant noise rock of The Universe soon gives way to the serenely beautiful A Tender History In Rust. The piece introduces itself with an atmospheric haze of noise and then some laughter. The lovely acoustic guitar melody is met with an equally stirring string part, definitely one of the most pleasant tracks on the album. The two drummer component of DMST is on full display in Her Story of Glory, a good song that is very much percussion dominated in it’s 11/4 time set-up. This is followed by You, You’re Awesome which is a pretty little number that brings forth a great slide guitar and piano part.
The climax of the album comes in the form of Executioner Blues, one of my favourite songs at the moment, and the best on the album. It shifts moods several times with ease going from the jazzy percussion opening to chaotic wall-of-sound climax. Overall it is an excellent piece that showcases the bands talents for composing. The album closes out with In Mind, a poppy guitar and banjo lead song that crescendos into a repeated vocal line backed with heavily distorted bass. It’s a good closing song in that it takes various parts of the album and puts it together into one song.
For fans of the band, genre and music lovers in general, You, You’re A History in Rust is a must have. Full of great instrumentation and arrangements, it’s an album that I can listen to over and over and not become tired of it. Great album.