The world of indie rock has never really embraced the concept of the instrumental jam band. The few exceptions that (barely) fit into that category -- Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Mogwai, Tortoise -- don't really follow the genre's rules, instead occupying a space between the Fall's deconstructed rock and the free-form noodling of hippie magnates Phish and the Dead. Toronto's Do Make Say Think manages to mine the best of these disparate worlds, resulting in a unique blend of improv rock and tightly knit arrangements. Earlier albums have flirted with this expansive aesthetic, albeit more in a Medeski, Martin and Wood style, as jazz cadences are an integral part of the band's repertoire. But this new collection feels as if it has more direction, even as songs stretch toward the ten-minute mark. After the tentative ambient guitar and brass moments of the album's opener, DMST employs precision on tracks like the jerky, start-stop "The Universe!" But, as always, the group is more concerned with the song's journey than its destination, allowing moments of serene guitar wash and post-rock breakdowns throughout, as well as the occasional hushed vocal. DMST continues to make instrumental rock interesting, keeping the melodic meandering to a bare minimum.
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