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Do Make Say Think

These days, any band that ventures into post-rock territory is bound to get compared with Mogwai, which is akin to every trip-hop/downtempo/chillout act being written off as a DJ Shadow knockoff. Although Canadian quintet Do Make Say Think shares its Scottish predecessors' knack for stop-start commotion, the details in Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn distinguish it: the way "Fredericia" streamlines from an ascending chorus of guitars into a cool breakbeat tempo, for example, or how "Auberge le Mouton Noir" carries itself on James Payment's military drum roll, then crashes into a wall of guitar noise. Do Make Say Think's songs are uniquely structured, thanks to lead guitarist Justin Small's ability to emit cool chord lines that emote without growing histrionic, imbuing the album with an eerie sense of purpose even as it works through the post-rock genre's typically stormy blend of ponds and swells. As calm as Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn sounds in comparison to its genre counterparts, one can't help but sigh when it ends with "Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!" -- an autumnal beauty that starts with Small and Ohad Benchetrit playing an acoustic guitar rhythm together and finishes with an over-the-top melody, complete with harmonizing chorus, that's too joyfully happy for its own good.
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Mosi Reeves

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