Essential New Music: Do Make Say Think’s “Stubborn Persistent Illusions”

Though the band has been overshadowed by the other instrumental rock juggernaut in Constellation Records’ stable, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Toronto-based quintet Do Make Say Think has managed to carve out a space of its own since its 1997 debut. Markedly different from the dynamic, over-embellished longform pieces most synonymous with post-rock, DMST’s is a knotted sound, more enticing for the oddly timed shifts and molten guitar lines the band writes so naturally than for the chaotic breakdowns where it occasionally winds up. Led by multi-instrumentalist/co-producer Ohad Benchetrit on the heels of a triumphant return to the stage for Constellation’s 15th anniversary shows, DMST shifts easily between the splintered skitter of “Horripilation” and the animated lead riff of “Return, Return Again”—which might as well have been swapped out for a team of bagpipers—for a record that easily ranks among the heaviest, most remarkable releases in Constellation’s recent catalog.

—Möhammad Choudhery