Apparently recorded in old barns in remote parts of Canada, post-rockers Do Make Say Think’s ‘You You’re A History In Rust‘ should be considered as one of the Great Albums Recorded in a Wooden Outhouse (TM), along with My Morning Jacket’s ‘It Still Moves‘ (Grain Silo) and Bon Iver’s ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ (Log Cabin). The Toronto band, also known for their contribution to Broken Social Scene’s cacophonous indie-rock stew, make jazzy, largely instrumental post-rock, but in a looser and more jam-orientated fashion than some of their contemporaries (i.e., Godspeed!, Explosions in the Sky etc.).
Owing to its raw recording methods, ‘You You’re A History In Rust‘ acquires a textural abstraction that (especially on ‘In Mind’) sees the band acquire some of the blissful dissonance of Christian Fennesz or Keven Shields. For ‘Rust’ you could also easily read ‘rustic’, and it’s partly this reverb-thick naturalism that melds the different instrumentation together. While horns, banjo and bubble up stealthily from the mix, the natural scrape and clutter of the recording process fills in the gaps. This ‘found sound’ gives the album a refreshingly unpolished and particular ambience, a sense of ontological connection to a certain time and place.
Although there are comparisons to be made with Mogwai circa ‘Rock Action‘ – albeit less baroque and melancholy, less Glaswegian – and to Tortoise’s jazzy compositions – but more spontaneous and less mathematically plotted – they deserve to be considered on par with some of these big names in the scene. Unlike some of their post-rock contemporaries, their sound is not characterised by crescendos but by fluid shifts of mood, and a joyous rusticism. The scene has been moving further towards traditional country and rock roots, perhaps inspired by the naturalistic expansiveness of My Morning Jacket and likeminded alt-country artists, and ‘You You’re A History In Rust‘ stands as an early example of this paradigm shift. If you like this you should like any of the aforementioned artists or albums, as well as Grizzly Bear’s ‘Yellow House‘, Broken Social Scene’s ‘You Forgot it in People‘ and My Morning Jacket’s ‘It Still Moves‘.