[12 March 2007]
Do Make Say Think’s albums are full of glorious anthems to the inexplicable. With You, You’re a History in Rust, the band continues its simultaneous explorations into the worlds of post-rock, jazz, electronica, and studio tomfoolery. There are dark corners and bright splashes; there are textural murmurs and bright melodies. And, after recording five albums over ten years, there are also vocal contributions. “A With Living”—sung by Tony Drekker of the Great Lake Swimmers—begins with five moody minutes and then morphs into a self-imploding sing-along. “A Tender History in Rust” has a light, folky feel with whistles and whispers, while “Herstory of Glory” samples playing children as it simmers and shimmers. Conversely, “Executioner Blues” doesn’t need vocals; its narrative is well-explained by an assemblage of guitars, strings and jazzy drums that ebb and flow before building to a cacophonous crescendo. The lovely “You, You’re Awesome” assumes a rubbery mid-tempo that might well-accompany a highlights sequence from the Robitussin Olympics. Finally, closer “In Mind” begins with an Akron/Family-assisted shuffle before taking the freak-folk banjo and vocal into the tape-hissing red, reminding us that beauty and noise may co-exist. It’s an apt, experimental end to a delightfully abstract listen.