Do Make Say Think, Field Music, Priestess, Soft Speaker
DO MAKE SAY THINK
Do Make Say Think is the kind of band that a lot of people know of, but not as many have really taken the time to familiarize themselves with. When DMST stop in Chicago this month, those people will have a rare chance to acclimate themselves with a band that, to others, is a reason to live. The Canadian instrumental group has carved a wide niche for itself since the band’s inception in 1995. The music combines variations of classical and acid jazz with experimental post-rock and a positively indie auditory aesthetic. Unlike many other bands that specialize in airy, guitar-driven shoegaze, DMST manage to craft a sound that is extremely stimulating and surprisingly moveable. On the band’s most recent album, Other Truths (Constellation), DMST lets fly its jam and prog-rock tendencies with four aptly titled songs — “Do”, “Make”, “Say” and “Think” — three of which top out at more than 10 minutes each. (Appearing at Schubas on December 4 and at Lincoln Hall on December 5) –text: James H. Ewert Jr.
After releasing their self-titled record in 2005 and their 2007 follow-up, Tones of Town, Sunderland, England brothers David and Peter Brewis decided to take divergent paths and work on other projects. David worked under the moniker School of Language (which released a record last year) and Peter created his own band, The Week That Was. Their upbeat pop music mixed with heavy bass sounds retro, but both projects were considered a part of Field Music. The reason behind the band’s hiatus was because the Brewis’ didn’t like the “indie band format” that they’d acquired. Luckily, the brothers rejoined for their third album, Field Music (The Measure), that also happens to be a double album slated for a February release. Now a quartet, Field Music is only playing two U.S. shows (including one Chicago appearance) on this tour, so be sure to check them out before they fade away once again. (Appearing with Sleep Out and Canasta at Beat Kitchen on December 5) –text: Garin Pirnia
I simply cannot say enough about Montreal hard rock/metal masters Priestess. Led by diminutive lead guitarist/vocalist Mikey Heppner, the band churns out tunes with the kind of wide-open, barnstorming rock riffs and old-school metal swagger that will instantly have you singing along and banging your head in delight. Needless to say, expectations ran high after the release of Priestess’ smashing 2005 debut Hello Master but, due to scheduling conflicts and a chronically dissatisfied record company, the album’s follow-up was not released until October of this year (despite it being completely finished in 2008). One can honestly say, however, that it was worth the wait as Prior to the Fire may just be the near-perfect record #2 for this band. To top it all off, Priestess are truly one of the best live rock acts on the scene today. You might have to pound several beers first simply to keep your head from exploding. (Appearing with Early Man and Rabid Rabbit at Empty Bottle on December 9) –text: Mike Scales
For any band starting out, learning how to craft words and sounds to form a song that is likable to the band, first and foremost, is a unique task. When listening to Soft Speaker’s first EP, Conditions, there is a sense of delight and anticipation throughout. If there’s one element that stands out, it’s the Chicago quartet’s love of harmony — both vocally and sonically. At times, it’s almost like the band utilizes all the delicious aspects of ’60s-era pop garage bands with the lessons of early ’80s indie rock combined with the band’s own unique spin. Somehow it all works. Soft Speaker seems comfortable in the shadows while occasionally stepping out into the light, which provides weight and character to the songs. Their path may not yet be absolutely clear, but Soft Speaker certainly has a good idea of where it wants to go. (Appearing with Helicopters and Passing Ships at Double Door on December 8) –text: Chris Castaneda