Post-rock-dub-electronic-ambient-with-jazzy-drumming. You can pin any sort of genre label on Toronto’s Do Make Say Think and it will inevitably slip off. More simply, the band make music that fill empty spaces; patching the cracks in the listeners mind. I came upon this realization during my bike ride home from work. I was already tired from the early start and the eight and a half hours of standing at a cash register trying to not fall asleep from boredom. As the end of my shift rolled around the ride home seemed daunting. In particular, a rather long, steady and unavoidable hill sat between me and home-sweet-home. Just as I started my long approach towards the incline “End of Music”, the second track of Do Make Say Think’s & Yet & Yet
, grooved steadily into my headphones. The shoegazing first half made the trek towards the hill seem to crawl in slow motion. However, just as I reached the bottom of the hill the music changed and the up-tempo post-rock crescendo of the songs latter half took over my headphones. I rose up the hill in time with the music, reaching the top just as the music reached its climax and spilled into the slow groove of the finale. This is what & Yet & Yet
is best at, being the soundtrack to whatever your life produces.
The music on the album is never difficult, but almost always interesting. Hints of melody bubble out of extended grooves and jams, like the horns that slither out of the funky drum and bass figures on “White Light Of”. This sort of mix creates a wonderful flow for the album, as it explores different moods while remaining cohesive. At times it can be subdued and contemplative, such as the ethereal electronics of the beautiful “Chinatown” (which is surely one of the best tunes to drive around at night to). At other instances it is kinetic, as with the album opener “Classic Noodlanding”. Combining these two different elements in the centerpiece “Reitschule” creates a grand sense of catharsis. As the song winds up into a fury of distorted guitars, it suddenly drops out into a pulsing bass groove that gets filled in with arpeggio guitar lines, with horns and a violin creating sonic texture. The piece presents perhaps the most well thought out composition from the band to this point. It doesn’t simply settle for creating a mood, it proceeds to manipulate it, turning textures over and shifting dynamics.
If more songs weren’t as content with simply living in a space, then this might be an even better album. “Reitschule” can leave the listener wanting more from the rest of the album, even though that may be the completely wrong instinct to hold when digesting an album like this. After all, this is an enveloping album, one that takes over the listeners mind and becomes what one wants it to be. In this light, & Yet & Yet
is an almost flawless album. While at times perhaps lacking a little too much direction, the loose jams flood voids and enhance emotions. It does this with the little details more then anything. Like with the pretty, wordless vocals on “Soul and Onward”. These little textures and melodic breaks from the grooves amplify the beauty and pure joy that is held within the record.
More than anything, & Yet & Yet
see Do Make Say Think maturing and evolving. While Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead
had a tighter structure, this album seems to refine the spacey self-titled debut. Whereas that debut crawled along and could become tedious with its repetition, & Yet & Yet
s enough textures and changes in dynamic to create a more wholly enjoyable album than its predecessors. Certainly a must own for post-rock fans, and pretty much fans of music in general.