Revolutionary Rock: From Monument to Masses

December 3, 2007

Hyphen's music editor Vilar was supposed to accompany me to the show, but she flaked at the last minute with a completely implausible story involving a treacherous gas-spewing City CarShare car, all in the name of buying Rock Band (nothing gets between that girl and her music simulation video games). But, Vilar or no, I was determined to see one of the most kickass Asian Am. bands out there today.

I first saw the band at Pinoise Pop 9 in 2005; afterwards, Ali Wong said she wanted to do things to them that are not legal in many states and are certainly not publishable here. Bay Area legend Hellen Jo (who played cello on their song "Deafening") has also admitted to nursing a serious crush on one member of the band.

But they're so much more than devastating good looks and a politcally progressive, social change ethos — they ROCK. No BS, no gimmicks. No navel gazing. No eyeliner or artfully touseled hair. No skinny ties. Just rock, god love em.

What do they sound like? In their own words:

From Monument to Masses is complex and hypnotic post-punk engineered to act as a revolutionary cultural force in service of the People. The band, the sampled sounds, and the music itself call for international Peoples' histories to be revisited and for any provoked indignation to be acted upon.

Highly influenced by the likes of Fugazi to Tortoise, Afrika Bambata to DJ Shadow, Don Caballero to Godspeed You Black Emperor, FMTM challenges the audience with epic compositions that abandon conventional song structure. Listen, question, act, repeat.

Listen to some of their songs on their MySpace (my favorite is the Loquat remix of "Comrades and Friends") or buy their freakin album, ya cheapos!


Lisa Wong Macabasco

Former Editor in chief

Lisa Wong Macabasco joined Hyphen in 2006; she has worked as the magazine's features editor, managing editor, and editor in chief. She has written for Mother Jones, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, AsianWeek, Audrey, Filipinas and ColorLines’ RaceWire. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and co-founded the National Asian American Student Conference. She was formerly an editor at AsianWeek newspaper and an editor in the marketing department of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.



i'm really sad i missed it. "deafening" is a gorgeous track.
hands down one of SF's best local bands.
sound to be overrated. with a zillion bands on myspace and youtube, the standard hype has gotten worse than it ever was way back when. Its like fans are all little press release bots, slobbering over their own without any sense of objectivity or perspective. These guys sound like a mashup of Rage, U2, a bit of Moody Blues and who knows what, but minus the memorable hooks and melodic forms. And they all wear Che shirts I'm sure.