Read my reviews of albums by Do Make Say Think:
1996: Easing (???)
I have never heard Do Make Say Think’s debut demo.
1997: Do Make Say Think (7/10)
So at first glance to me this is like the non-electronic side of Tortoise with a bit of the Montreal side of things pulling the music into some non-Tortoise-y directions (which are welcome). There is a also a big “math rock” (ugh, what a name) influence in here as well. This combination makes the band stand out from some of its contemporaries, since they are Tortoise-y but different enough to warrant consideration.
The big issue with this album is it seems to need a producer. There’s a little too much here and it’s a bit of a mess. I guess that’s sort of to be expected from a debut though.
2000: Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead (8/10)
Though still very much under the shadow of Tortoise – at times perhaps even more so than on their debut – this is a lot more focused than the self-titled album, and I think it is more successful as a result.
Again, their incorporation of horns makes them sound less like Tortoise than they otherwise would, so that’s a good thing.
2003: & Yet & Yet (8/10)
This is probably their most Tortoise-y album, at least in some respects. So, on that side of things, it is disappointing given how they appeared to be overcoming that influence on the previous album – at least somewhat – and how on the next album they would overcome it (in my mind).
But on the other hand, this feels more consistent than their past attempts at combining Tortoise with “math rock” (ugh) in that they have fully embraced the Canadian Tortoise mantle, at least very briefly. So I must say that I like it more than some of what came before.
2003: Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (9/10)
I feel like it is with this album that Do Make Say Think finally emerges from the shadow of Tortoise to sound like something completely their own. There are enough other ideas that the band no longer reminds me of Tortoise at least once per track, as they usually do. And the music is as stellar as ever. At least so far, I would say I think this is their best.
My #2 album of 2003, which feels very inappropriate. Read my other music reviews from 2003.
2007: You, You’re a History in Rust (8/10)
I want to like this as much as Hymn but there’s a few things that make this a little weaker in my mind. For one thing, it sounds like the guy from Deep Dark United showed up to insist on some vocals. (I have no idea if it’s actually him; apparently it’s not though it sure sounds like him.) And while that’s going on, the band sounds a lot more like Deep Dark United. I’d personally rather listen to Do Make Say Think, thank you.
2009: Other Truths (8/10)
This is the absolute closest Do Make Say Think have come to sounding like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In the past, the influence was there but it was subtle. This time, especially on “Make,” it is considerably more apparent.
This is both a good thing – GY!BE are probably the best Canadian rock band of the 21st century so if you are going to steal from someone… – and a bad thing – DMST were very much their own thing in the past, and on the past two albums in particular. All this is to say that DMST have embarked upon a slightly different direction, which is welcome but which would be even more welcome if it wasn’t so clearly indebted to their label-mates.
2017: Stubborn Persistent Illusions (???)
I missed this reunion album. Read my very few reviews of music from 2017.