Review Summary: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please DMST. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of DMST dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of DMST, he is none of his.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please DMST. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of DMST dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of DMST, he is none of his.”
Oh yes, I’m a believer. But oh! I can hear the cries already, from both sides, religious and musical; One, I’m defiling scripture, Two, Do Make Say Think are not the best post rock band ever. I’d beg to differ on both counts: One, If DMST is in fact, god embodied, then the doors of high heaven are waiting for me as I write. Two, DMST is the best post rock band ever.
Call it musical revelation, if you will. Me on the other hand, facetious or blasphemous, I’ll say this with a straight face: Other Truths is the Post Rock record of the year
. How to qualify this? Via that other post rock great of 2009, Mono maybe? Fuck
Mono. I mean that in the nicest possible way though, as in, if Mono stands for everything ‘traditional’ post rock strives for, DMST stand visibly and sonically opposed in every single conceivable way, preferring experimentation over structure, and open, wandering space over overbearing moodiness. Or, to put it bluntly: Do Make Say Think are just about the only post rock band pushing the boundaries of the genre they so gleefully revel in. Second coming, yes please.
Unlike so many of their peers, DMST refuses to play the stale game of dragging their listeners from Soft Dynamic Point A™ to Loud Dynamic Point B™, opting instead to create a set of fluid snapshots of various musical themes and movements, with songs weaving in and out of some undefinable sonic structure buried within the very real and red blooded heart of Other Truths. It’s a record that is at once textural, earthy and organic in every sense of each of those terms, with each bumpy ridge and unpolished vein only adding to its delicate charm. Take “Do”, which opens the record with the playful twang of one of the most upbeat and deliciously fun riffs of the band’s anthology to date, only to find it twisted and stretched out among a sonic landscape of rumbling bass, light but distinctive stickwork and blaring horns, before descending into a gorgeous instant of hazy ambience.
To be clear though, Other Truths never, ever comes off as overbearing. It doesn’t “crush you with beauty” or become “violently wondrous” – always always always the band makes sure that each song provides for breathing space at each and every moment. It’s a record that takes you places, but it’s far from the standard set of tour guide set pieces; think instead of being led, Their Hand In Yours, to a odd but familiar world of the band’s own creation – through fine autumnal sprays of jazz sprinkled musical passages, through the dense foliage of crescendo lined horizons, with no markers save for the impish flickerings of warmly familiar riffs and lines... too poetic perhaps? God (DMST) knows, but if it takes flowery writing to describe flowery music, then so be it. While the remaining three songs here don’t deviate too far from the standard set by “Do”, each captures a distinctly different mood: “Make”, with its seriousness, “Say” with its wondrous optimism, and “Think” with its introspective brooding.
Of course, familiar listeners of the band won’t exactly find any of this too surprising, given that from day one the band has always been pretty clear about the sort of sonic aesthetic they’ve been striving for. What sets Other Truths apart then is more or less the way they’ve gone about achieving it: with just four songs averaging about ten minutes each, Other Truths plays itself out as one giant, magical studio jam that just so happily got captured on tape. That they just also happen to all sound immaculately composed and
free flowing at the same time is only a testament to the wonder of this Canadian collective. Far from a unified artistic statement, Other Truths refuses to pin itself down, and marks itself simply and modestly as a showcase of some of the best talent in genre. A minor miracle, if you will.