Stubborn Persistent Illusions is the first album by Toronto-based instrumental rock collective Do Make Say Think since 2009's Other Truths. Immediately out of the gate, the group sound overwhelmed and overjoyed to be back in action. "War on Torpor" erupts with boundless energy, building up a melodic cacophony of skyward guitars, slightly nervy organ, and thrashing drums. While many groups tagged as "post-rock" tend to prefer lengthy, dramatic crescendos, this gets straight to the action and accelerates from there. "Horripilation" is longer and less exuberant, but gives more of a spotlight to the group's delicate instrumental interplay, progressing through sections of fluttering saxophones and anxious guitar riffs. "Bound" and its companion "And Boundless" are home to the album's most memorable explosions of ecstatic drumming and colorful melodies, but they take their time to surface among the seas of sparkling guitars and backwards electronics. By the end of "And Boundless," everything has expanded in excitement and majesty, and the band sound truly high on life. Some of the album's shorter pieces are a bit moodier and less energetic, but they set the stage for the group's more soul-stirring numbers, which make up most of the album's tracks. More than anything, DMST seem to be reveling in the splendor of life, and sound determined to express joy and wonder even if hopelessness and futility are the easier options. This is an utterly triumphant, uplifting album.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson