Do Make Say Think has been widely celebrated as one of the preeminent instrumental rock bands of the 90s-00s. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is the group's first album in eight years - and a brilliant addition to one of the most consistently inventive and critically praised discographies in the 'post-rock' canon. They have a well-earned reputation for imbuing their instrumental music with soulful and emotive narrative power that doesn't rely on obvious tropes or bombastic dynamics. Among the band's special strengths is an ineffable naturalism that avoids anything too woolly, proggy, purist or clichéd, while remaining a fundamentally guitar-driven group whose ornate four- and six-string interplay balances rockism, pastoralism and electronic-influenced postproduction in a class of its own.
Stubborn Persistent Illusions is built from this distinctive toolkit, at once familiar and as fresh as anything DMST has committed to tape. A short Bhuddist poem about boundlessness and recurrence informs this profoundly imagistic listening experience, amplified by the beautiful commissioned paintings of the deluxe gatefold album art. Stubborn Persistent Illusions testifies to the idea that an honest conviction in the communicative power of cerebral instrumental rock need not imply pretension, escapism, faux naiveté or nostalgia. Do Make Say Think enter their third decade with a new album that helps reaffirm the promise of genuinely emotive, narrative, restorative and life-affirming instrumental rock music – and will surely rank among their best.