When Constellation Records announced Do Make Say Think would be releasing their first record in 8 years (Stubborn Persistent Illusions), I was suddenly hit with how much I actually missed the band and their output. Across their discography, DMST have released some absolutely stunning albums, ones which stand out in the post-rock genre as positively unique and untouchable. Perhaps it is high praise, but I award them so much due to the fact that so few bands manage to achieve the level of standard DMST achieve in their music. It is truly something else.
The band’s debut album is arguably not the best place to start, but it is definitely essential listening once you have a feel for them. Later albums would see the band trying out many new ideas, producing a sound that is oddly upbeat and joy-inducing for a genre that so often feels miserable and moody. There is upbeat amusement here, notably in the bouncy opening, but it gives way to an oddly unsettling and unusual experience that feels very weird. It’s in that weirdness we find so many incredible ideas and concepts, few of which we really see the general slog of post-rock bands trying. It all culminates into what I feel are the best 20 minutes on any post-rock album, where we as listeners are thrown headfirst into a cosmic jazzy musical voyage into the unknown. It’s a truly weird experience to behold, and one that feels oddly unsettling and scary, but when you allow yourself to just get transported by the music, the result is something transcendental. The textures are to die for, from the pulsating bass notes to the twangs of discordant guitars, rising, swelling, descending, moving, it’s whimsical and bemusing, it’s unsettling yet engrossing.
This review has gotten a little weird I feel, but maybe it’s okay, cause we’re talking about Do Make Say Think here. This here was the launching off point for one of the greatest post-rock bands. Do Make Say Think is a wonderfully stunning debut. One that can completely knock you out and still make you feel oddly calm, like you’ve traveled the entire globe without even leaving your seat. This more experimental and arguably looser sounding DMST might be tough for some people, which is understandable. When it clicks though, by God does it click!