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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
From Monument to Masses
The Impossible Leap in 100 Simple Steps
Dim Mak Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
From Monument to Masses comes on strong on their latest full-length, both musically and ideologically. Each song is a densely textured and arranged piece, occasionally punctuated by gruff Hot Water Music style vocals (although this is fairly rare) and only slightly too often interrupted by samples from news reports and commentators. This is the main fault of the record; some of the samples, especially the ones dealing with 9/11, are just too obvious and hammer their points home a bit too hard. But perhaps that was the band's intention - they seem to feel strongly enough about their politics to not want to take the subtle route where that is concerned, even if their shape changing song structures do employ subtlety of a musical nature.

FMTM take their cues from bands like Don Cab, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Mogwai, Trans Am and everyone and everything in between. Songs like the intro track "Sharpshooter" and the bass and drum introduced "The Spice Must Flow" twist and turn and morph into various stages and emotions as they go from fret tapped harmonics to full on power chords. Their vocal-less music is so emotive that it almost really doesn't need the samples it employs. In the same way that the last GYBE! record was considered political with nary a vocal, FMTM's latest opus pushes their left leaning politics whether or not we hear Dubya's voice extolling the virtues of imperialism.

The band is a trio but their sound is more dense than most full on rock orchestras. Their bass-guitar-drums backbone is embellished by keyboards, effects and loops, creating a bigger sound than they should be able to make. This is true post-punk, staying true to the spirit and politics of punk rock while bringing the music to a complexity and density that goes way beyond three-chord shout blasts. From Monument to Masses let their music do the talking.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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