REVIEW: Do Make Say Thing: goodbye enemy airship the landlord is dead
Do Make Say Think: goodbye enemy airship the landlord is dead [Constellation, 2000]
Three words? Instrumental flying machine.
goodbye enemy airship... is a moody, jostling, invigorating album. It swoops between stormclouds, sky split with lightning forks, occasionally careening down to circle over pastoral villages and sad, small men. Do Make Say Think combines outstanding instrumental intuition with a mature sense of timbre, blending crazed instrumental rock with the Millions Now Living-era jazz of Tortoise. Goodbye enemy airship is a bumpy ride - it rolls along drum-peals and over the smack of saxophone - but it is a good one.
"When Day Chokes the Night" begins the album as ancient, fuzz-dripping guitar and bass wind slow circles around each other. Four minutes in, a great, bristling wave of snare rises and takes over, escorting blast after blast of fat saxophone sound. The meandering murmurings of earlier become the setting for demolition; burbles and squeaks dribble in and out as the horns bring down the walls of Jericho, drums crumbling stone, until all that is left is desert mist.
"The Landlord is Dead" starts with a similar ebb-and-flow of guitar lick, this time laced early with mellow horns and the pattering of brushed snares. When the windows finally shatter, it is through the sudden, blazing cry of electric guitar - it breaks from its circle, screams out, and draws in a chugging climax of sound, a wash of strings and static that recalls Mogwai's "You Don't Know Jesus". The Western prairie-song of "The Apartment Song" follows, occasionally upset with crunch and squeal; then "All of This is True", which moves from road-trip shuffling to minimalist horns and pulls back threads from "When Day Chokes the Night", drifting into freeform jazz percussion and sea pulse. "Bruce E Kinesis" is dark and dusty: early Mogwai do film-noir. Organs bleed apocalypse until subterranean bells preempt the End. On the final track, "Goodbye Enemy Airship", the band again takes flight, whirling through cloudcover and around radio towers, propellers whirring in the back, steadily moving out of earshot until there's nothing more than loose, dangling memories, and a body on the verge of collapse.