At first glance at Do Make Say Think, I didn't care too much for them. But, as with Swans and Molasses and Silver Mt. Zion, I decided to give these guys another chance. So, I listened to it and...I LOVED IT! :D (Same happened with the other bands I just mentioned :) )This debut album of the excellent instrumental rock & jazz band Do Make Say Think has crafted a lovely and relaxing experience to behold. It's especially relaxing to sleep to, with its soothing rhythms and structures. Buy it and enjoy.
do make say think began life as a keyboard-driven psychedelic jam band.
consistent with the genre, this record appears to be dedicated to the sacrosanct activity of jamming while baked. hints exist within the title of the fourth track and the eight minute dubby cover of the dr. who theme, here called dr. hooch, which is a brilliant pothead idea if there ever was one. the disc as a whole is driven by the sound of effects pedals feeding back over very slowly moving drum parts and repetitive, dubby bass lines. along with the thick drones, analog synthesizer knob twiddling and heavily processed backwards guitars, this give the disc an expansive, loose, messy and at times quite noisy feel that is associated with a sort of archetypal psychedelic aesthetic.
while there are hints of the sound that do make say think would later claim as their own, they are subsumed deeply within the interplay of guitar and synthesizer effects. while the band had two drummers at the time, it is by no means obvious throughout most of the record. excluding a few noisy excursions, particularly in disco and haze, which is a track that is closer to their general sound than most of the rest of the disc, i'm having difficulty picking out horn parts, horns of course being deeply characteristic of do make say think's known style. in the place of these later innovations is a saturation of gratuitous synth noodling that would not show up at levels anywhere near this on any further record of theirs. while this is neither negative nor positive, it is certainly different and will likely be deeply unexpected for most people hearing this for the first time today.
ignoring the differences in sound, another large difference between this disc and the discs that follow it would be that a later do make say think track generally reaches some kind of a resolution after seven or eight minutes and that the journey through the track generally has both structure and purpose. these tracks are largely aimless explorations, which is not necessarily something that is inferior. any road or path must be mapped and built before it becomes a highway and perhaps that is how this record should ultimately be viewed. some tracks, like 1978, don't go anywhere or have any purpose but are fun to listen to anyways, mostly because, even while screwing around in an attempt to build a unique sound, this act is tight.
this disc has it's own fanbase as, besides an ep that is long out of print and difficult to find, it is the only recorded representation of the act in it's early stages, before it picked up the horns. a reasonable argument could be presented that the disc actually has historical value for that reason as this act would eventually evolve into one of the most important musical acts that this country has ever produced and in some ways the disc sounds like the band discovering itself. if one were to only be exposed to this disc, it would be entirely rational to deduce that do make say think is an act that is driven by their keyboard player. as it is, the keyboard player leaves after the next record and takes a certain segment of the band's fanbase with him; the band's style shifts subtly but very perceptibly on the next disc, enough that this disc is unique. it's far from a weak disc, in fact it accomplishes it's goal admirably, but the goal appears to have been to create a less than unique psychedelic post-rock disc in the style of a dozen acts from the early 90s. if you're looking to explore do make say think's signature sound then you'll have to start with their second record, but this disc is more than interesting enough for just about anybody interested in just about anything close to "psychedelia".