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The sixth full-length from Do Make Say Think defiantly features four long-form tracks, three of which clock in at over 10 minutes, and all of which trace the inimitable musical arcs that have made this band justly celebrated for their unique sonic palette and vibrant distillation of compositional forms and influences into some of the past decade’s most consistently rich and rewarding instrumental rock.
Bucking the trend towards diminishing attention spans, immediate gratification, snappy digital singles and things that go ‘pop’ right out of the gate, DMST admirably stick to their roots and allow the vines that spring from their fertile musical garden to wind, curl and climb for as long as required. More than ever, the players keep their heads down, creating wonderful multi-movement instrumental works (with the occasional mantric or wordless vocal passage, courtesy guest singers The Akron Family and Lullabye Arkestra), overflowing with attention to tone and timbre, animated by unfussy yet ornate harmony, melody and polyrhythm, shot through with ineffable soul. The four songs on Other Truths are vintage Do Make Say Think, and the album represents the first time since the band’s debut (recorded over a dozen years ago) that they have found themselves with an entire collection of songs that unfold so organically over long duration. As testament to the unfettered evolution of these tunes, the band has titled them simply “Do”, “Make”, “Say” and “Think”.
Do Make Say Think has always managed to gather, balance and synthesise various poles simultaneously – ragged/precise, dirty/clean, atmospheric/ stratospheric – forging sonic narratives that combine broad strokes and clusters of detail. Perhaps more than their overtly ‘post-modern’ commingling of various musical genres (psych, jazz, dub, folk) this less conspicuous, indefinable ability to maintain such a consistently enthralling fusion of instincts is the true mark of the band, yielding a music that sounds and feels so unforced, natural and human. Certainly a key part of this unquantifiable equation is the band’s self-production, which has shaped their sound from the beginning, and grown along with it. Led by Ohad Benchetrit and his home studio Th’ Schvitz in Toronto, along with Charles Spearin and Justin Small, DMST has developed a canny and novel toolbox of recording and mixing techniques that contributes significantly to their sonic identity.
Ultimately it is tricky to distill what has made DMST so compelling to so many critics and fans over their 13-year history, but inarguably something beyond the sum of its parts has always sparkled through their music, an amalgam of many elements that seem present all at once, on every song and through every album: cerebral, emotional, atmospheric, visceral, cosmic, pastoral, synthetic, organic, meditative, ecstatic. Other Truths rallies them all once again, in new and dynamic ways, bearing the distinct imprint of the band’s sound – a brilliant addition to the band’s canon.