March 7, 2007
A stalwart of Montrealís rock ferment, Do Make Say Think consistently crafts elegant, meandering rock songs. Stripping song structures down to core elements, DMST take these strandsóa guitar melody, the cool blow of a trumpetóand layer them with sounds to create universal, musical moods.
DMST shares both members and, seemingly, a worldview with the hugely popular Broken Social Scene, and their live show is the mellow cousin of BSSís bombast. Crossover members include the beautiful Ohad Benchetrit on guitar and saxophone, Charles Spearin on bass and trumpet, and most recently, Julie Penner on violin. Playing to a devoted crowd of fans, collected over a decadeís worth of critically acclaimed albums, DMST infused their songs with energy, bringing them to life and pushing them, soaring, into the audience.
Although touring in support of You, Youíre A History In Rust, released February 27th on CS Records, DMSTís setlist drew from their entire repertoire. The emotive instrumentals of Do Make Say Think are like contemporary classical music: without the lyrics that define pop songs, they describe rich journeys observant of daily triumphs and disappointments. DMST coaxes ethereality from their sometimes-horn section before building mammoth walls of sounds; Pennerís ghostly violin adds just the right amount of texture. Unlike previous albums, You, Youíre A History In Rust experiments with occasional vocals. Although the recorded version of ďA With LivingĒ falls a bit flat, the soft, earnest harmonies of guitarist Justin Small, trumpeter Brian Cram, Spearin and Penner cast a warm glow live.
DMSTís post-rock is mesmerizing, particularly for fans of instrumental, soundscape-type bands like Explosions In The Sky. They are a unique, visionary band pleasantly dismissive of pop and indie rock conventions. The wrong audience would have found last nightís performance overlong and tiresome, but with the rapt attention and occasional head-banging taking place at Neumoís, Seattle gave them the right one.