Do Make Say Think came together in Toronto in 1995-96 and self-released their self-recorded, self-titled debut CD in 1997. Constellation Records re-issued this record the following year and have worked with the band on all six records that followed. The band members continue to be Ohad Benchetrit, David Mitchell, James Payment, Justin Small and Charles Spearin – and all continue to call Toronto home.
Do Make Say Think have consistently released superlative and critically acclaimed instrumental rock albums that feature highly original hybrids of psych, jazz, punk, prog and electronica. They shatter the all-too-familiar confines of generic post-rock with every album, and forge compelling instrumental rock with just the right balance of noise, melody, narrative depth, compositional acumen and inventive mixing and editing. They have fostered a devoted international audience and have toured extensively in North America, Europe and Asia over the course of their 20+ year history as a band.
Do Make Say Think records are also marked by a fiercely independent approach to self-production that is re-imagined for each release, but which always remains the band’s own; Ohad, Justin and Charles are a distinctive production team, working out of Ohad’s Toronto studio th’Schvitz, and Do Make Say Think is the most personal, expansive and detailed canvas for their sonic adventures.
Eight years has been a hefty wait for the follow-up to 2009’s Other Truths, after which the five members of DMST pursued other creative projects. New writing and recording sessions throughout 2014-2016 have led to overdubbing, ‘underdubbing’, gestating and mixing, helmed by band members Ohad Benchetrit, Charles Spearin and Justin Small at Ohad’s studio th’Schvitz. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is a reminder and continuation of the group’s DIY ethos, and the integral role played by their singular self-production acumen and aesthetic.
Do Make Say Think has a well-earned reputation for imbuing their instrumental music with soulful and emotive narrative power that doesn’t rely on obvious tropes or bombastic dynamics. Among the band’s special strengths is an ineffable naturalism that avoids anything too woolly, proggy, purist or clichéd, while remaining a fundamentally guitar-driven group whose ornate four- and six-string interplay balances rockism, pastoralism and electronic-influenced post-production in a class of its own. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is built from this distinctive toolkit, at once familiar and as fresh as anything DMST has committed to tape. A short Bhuddist poem about boundlessness and recurrence informs this profoundly imagistic listening experience, amplified by the beautiful commissioned paintings of the deluxe gatefold album art. As the band tells it, “There is a hint of narrative on this album which is both vague and deliberate. The idea comes from an image in a Buddhist poem about working with a wild mind. The idea is that each song is a thought or daydream, independent but at the same time connected to the other thoughts through subconscious feelings. And although the thoughts come and go, the feelings return over and over throughout our lives. The suggestion in the poem is that when your mental chatter carries you away you don’t necessarily need to tie it down or shut it up; you can instead recognize thoughts as thoughts and let them play out. Eventually all concepts must return to perception, where they started. We should probably say again that this narrative is admittedly a bit wooly around the edges – we don’t pretend that every note has a special significance.”
Ⓒ 2014 // Metro + SmartBar