From Monument To Masses is:
From Monument to Masses is history in the making. The bi-coastal post-rock band, stationed in NYC and San Francisco, are releasing a new full-length CD/LP on DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records on January 20, 2009, which will be preceded on October 10, 2008 by a CD/7″ Single on Golden Antenna Records entitled „Beyond God & Elvis“ featuring two brandnew songs. More releases worldwide are to be announced soon. FMTM recorded 60+ minutes of new politically-charged music, plus non-album cuts at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco with the engineering genius of Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, Minus the Bear, Russian Circles) at the console. FMTM has entitled their new sonic testimonial “On Little Known Frequencies” and it will be the first full-length album of all new studio material since 2003’s The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps (DM 050). The emotive and celebratory single is entitled “Beyond God & Elvis.” The co-production DNA code of Matt Bayles runs throughout this album as his ideas mixed powerfully with the band’s. From Monument to Masses is re-emerging.
Why is that important? Where and when was their first emergence? In December of 2000, drummer/programmer Francis Choung replied to a post from a transplanted Chicago mathrock guitarist Matthew Solberg who had been ranting on craigslist.org about wanting to create some angry, angular, and soulful music in the SF Bay Area that would have little to do with the everpresent specters of punk and metal. Inspired by bands like Refused, Faraquet, Shipping News, and Mars Volta they wanted to write meticulous yet raw music that would escape the mathrock niche and find a new territory altogether. Sergio Robledo-Maderazo soon joined on bass and synth, and the three discovered a sound and a philosophy. Politics and music became inseparable. Theory, raw experience, and idealism all came crashing together in a new sound for a new kind of listener. In 2002, a year after forming, FMTM began playing shows and released its first Self-Titled CD on Dim Mak (DM031 out-of-print). Most fans who noticed the band in its early years could immediately hear the integrity and promise in its sound. It was clear that the band would stick around.
In late 2003 FMTM released a groundbreaking compendium of their instrumental post-punk craftsmanship, their political fury, and their personal experience: The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps. This release unsurprisingly missed the mainstream by a long shot, but fortunately it captivated a critical mass of listeners who stood and swore by the band, taking in their infrequent but explosive live shows, and waiting patiently for the next full-length and tour. The Impossible Leap, a sometimes cryptic, but ever-entrancing narrative comment on post-9/11 world politics and the historical cost of western Imperialism, had struck a nerve and demonstrated an inspired young bands vision of indie rock’s future: Synthesis. Instrumental music alone was not enough for the band or for their fans. In 2005, in order to explore new digital directions while getting comfortable with them, and to whet the appetite of their fanbase, FMTM released Schools of Thought Contend (Dim Mak 086) an amalagam of new studio work and remix collaborations with 12 different artists, including 65 Days of Static, Jason Clark of Pretty Girls Make Graves, Dave LeBleu of Mercury Program, and Filip Nikolic of Ima Robot. FMTM has moved people all over the globe, from the first world to the developing world, in spite of the band’s firm foundation at home and at Work. It’s difficult to be a working person and to find time to give something to the illusory world of “art”. FMTM has managed to do it at a steadfast pace over the last seven years with 3 introductory CD/LPs… and it all culminates now. This is where they step out, launch an unbelievably solid, ferocious, and danceable new record, and remind the world that they’ve been here all along… getting organized.
This year’s offering from FMTM is dead-set on winning the hearts and minds not only of post-rock fans and progressive activists, but of everyone who has a vested interest in challenging the status quo and flipping it on its head. Their Fall ’08 European Tour is just a warm-up for countless live shows far and wide in 2009. FMTM shakes audiences to their core with their catchy and challenging blend of progressive post-punk, epic shoegazing pop, glitchy electronic, and the breakbeats of hip-hop and soul. Any critical expectations for the band will be happily blown to bits and moreover, this album will arrive on shelves at the start of a new inaugural year when fans and critics will no doubt be hungry for something groundbreaking. “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution?” Well there’s more to Movement Building than dancing… but if you gotta dance, you gotta dance. And if you gotta show off your chops while you whip the crowd into a heartfelt frenzy with breathtaking dynamics and lump-in-your-throat crescendos that scream out for learning, unlearning, and change… then From Monument to Masses will step up… and knock it out of the park.