Do Make Say Think

The world of indie rock has never really embraced the concept of the instrumental jam band. The few exceptions that (barely) fit into that category — Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Tortoise — don't really follow the genre's rules, instead occupying a space between the Fall's deconstructed rock and the free-form noodling of hippie magnates Phish and the Grateful Dead. Toronto's Do Make Say Think manages to mine the best of these disparate worlds, resulting in a unique blend of improv rock and tightly knit arrangements on its newest record, You, You're a History in Rust. Earlier albums have flirted with this expansive aesthetic, albeit more in a Medeski, Martin, and Wood style, as jazz cadences are an integral part of the band's repertoire. But this new collection feels more directional, even as songs stretch toward the ten-minute mark. After the tentative ambient guitar and brass moments of the album's opener, DMST employs precision on tracks like the start-stop "The Universe!" But as always, the group is more concerned with the song's journey than its destination, allowing moments of serene guitar wash and post-rock breakdowns throughout, as well as the occasional hushed vocal. DMST continues to make instrumental rock interesting, keeping the melodic meandering to a bare minimum.
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Jonah Flicker