Do Make Say Think / Years / The Happiness Project Republik, Calgary, AB February 8

Do Make Say Think / Years / The Happiness Project Republik, Calgary, AB February 8
Charles Spearin's irresistible Happiness Project set the tone for the evening with a touching, often hilarious set. After explaining exactly what would happen, Spearin was joined by a small selection of his Do Make Say Think band-mates to play selections from his Happiness Project debut. By giving a back story to each of the interviewees sampled on the album, the songs had an extra dimension of emotional pull. Combining Spearin's charming on stage persona with the band's full sound, the Happiness Project proved that their songs are even more engaging when they're experienced live.

Up next was Years, the solo project of Ohad Benchetrit. Playing selections from Years' self-titled Arts & Crafts debut, Benchetrit's set started off with sparse guitar playing and his own soft singing. By the end, however, literally all of Do Make Say Think had joined him for a raw, loud and emphatic selection of songs. The sound had all the markings of a post-rock band, and leaned towards DMST's early Krautrock experimentations. Still, they were clearly Years songs.

After a brief pause between sets, Spearin cut any post-rock pretension by introducing the band as "Do Make Say Muthafuckin' Think, Bitches." The jovial introduction worked well, allowing for the band to entertain as an exciting rock band, instead of a self-serious symphony. Opening with Other Truths stand out "Do," the band were embracing their rock'n'roll tendencies with loud, clattering cymbals and full-bodied guitars.

That crescendo was followed by the equally exciting "Auberge Le Mouton Noir," which saw the band reach even louder peaks as they explored the sound. As the set continued, the quieter passages were performed flawlessly as well, tugging at the right heartstrings at the right moments. Still, if you're forced to see Do Make Say Think in the confines of a rock club, it's the loud peaks that really stand out, and the band did not fail to deliver.