Do Make Say Think, Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead (Constellation)

Posted February 14th, 2000 by admin

Do Make Say Think
Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead
By: Eric G.

Do Make Say Think explores the accidents of sound and the limits of formal composition for a ragged and raw display of rock that feels primal and pure even in the face of its veerings into jazz. The jazzy breakdowns are only so-called because of the trappings of skittering drumbeats- the playing is far from cliched. The band maintains the same level of tension whether in the midst of a cacophony of noise or stripped down to its skeletal frame of guitars. Do Make say Think recorded Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead in an old barn up in Canada, and you can even hear the crickets chirping in the background. The tone is meditative with smooth, fretless bass lines and the occasional brush-stroked snare.

This is the band’s second full-length, and the sound is much more refined. It’s hard to keep music like this in check with dueling drummers and a batch of horns, but the band never loses sight of its minimalist nature. The guitar/bass interplay is slow and beguiling but sometimes runs through bursts of sprightly pop as in “Minmin.” Electronics are present but not overwhelming. The purity of a rock record is maintained despite the technology involved. Do Make Say Think makes wholly plaintive music but provides its own outlets by way of sudden breakdowns and interludes. The horns sound lo-fi enough to have been recorded thirty years ago. Soundtrack music seems like a derisive term, but this music could turn a mediocre film into a something vital and bracing.

“The Landlord Is Dead” builds slowly into a tense, paranoid frenzy of emotion slightly akin to Radiohead’s “Climbing Up The Walls” but without the vocals. This is another album full of only instrumentals, but it’s so engrossing you’ll barely even notice. The band experiments with sad, bluesy guitars so soaked in reverb that they sound wet. The ghostly keyboards are unobtrusive and tranquil. The songs deconstruct themselves as they progress and withdraw. Do Make Say Think imbues dynamism with repetition and splayed harmonics, but it’s all constantly evolving. This is an album that will surprise you every time you listen to it. Do seek it out.

Tags: review