Review Summary: The first major flight - the first minor fall
Searching for old post rock releases would never seem to be so enjoyable as in the beginning of the new decade, a decade that probably found the genre under a complete depletion of ideas, dwindling away from the bright and promising thing it was during the second half of the nineties. Do Make Say Think was one of the bands that spearheaded the short post-rock revolution during that time, under the influence of artists such as Tortoise or Godspeed, integrating myriads of influences, ranging from jazz to electronica and psychedelic rock. Almost two years before joining the mythic Constellation Records, the Canadian post-rockers self-released and distributed their homonymous debut, a soothing album that hasn't lost none of its lucid intricacy.
A virtue that slowly became rare in the fields of instrumental artists, the clarity of themes and their development, is here rediscovered and used quite efficiently throughout the whole album. Do Make Say Think
is the refinement of a nurturing sonic vision that never found its form. Far from being monotonous or simplistic, the album focuses on minimalistic, lazy basslines, intense and expert drumming, woodwind and trumpet brushstrokes, lush synth textures and swirling melodies. All these elements, incorporate a wide emotional spectrum which manifests the high level of the band's sense of ambiance. From the jazzy "Dr. Hooch" and "Highway 420" to the relaxing and soulful "If I Only…", the album screams for the listener's attention : ever-returning rhythms and synth noises build a colorful background, until it's wiped away by soaring crescendos that come and go. From the record's opener, "1978", to the closing, mind-bending epic, "The Fare to Get There", the listener passes from desperation to euphoria and back again. And while the distorted haziness of the smartly-named "Disco & Haze" lets you float in psychedelia, the ethereal "Le'espalace" still sounds comfortable with all the sci-fi sounding bleeps that often appear at the background.
Yet, as it was previously mentioned, Do Make Say Think
is an album that finds the band in the first steps of their musical nourishment. More like a canvas of developing themes and sounds, the progression of the melodies and the patterns displayed are left in the hands of a fate that's quite hasty and unaware of its decisions: Whereas each song progresses vividly, it never reaches the point of transcendence - the eventual climax. The nonreciprocal relation between the listener and the album is revealed : the one's attention is never rewarded with cathartic passages of stentorian climaxing or sonorous fortissimo chords. And while this doesn't happen at all times, it's the record in its entirety that gives that unrequited feeling. Yet, the band's experimental direction and inexperience can easily justify the lack of such an important element in a genre like post-rock. And next to its modern cousins, drowned in uninspired, bold repetition, Do Make Say Think
is as charming and intricate as it was these old days.