Monday, November 07, 2005

From Monument to Masses / Schools of Thought Contend / Rating 6.4

acerbic assault on political injustice

Here is my 12 step listening program in semi-real time:

1)During the very first listen late at night I was tempted to hit forward button around 12 times but listened all the way through regardless.

2) Second listen I began connecting more deeply with each track.

3) Third listen the stand out tracks are "Deafening", "Old Robes" ( Nano Machine Remix), "To Z(Repeat)"(65 Days of Static remix).

4) I Began wondering how I could have oringally wanted to skip across so much of Schools of Thought Contend.

5) Holy ESG bass / beat combo at the end of Automato’s remix of The Spice Must Flow remix.

6) Listening to FMTM with headphones on a long walk I had a flashback to a time when I was listening to Rodan and had CNN on in another room. (I often keep the news on during the day while I work when our political climate is heated) The sounds of the record and news collided to form a disturbing but powerful collage.

7) More thoughts while walking with headphones: I wonder if this is what a rock band tribute to M83 would sound like if it featured members of the Books and Euphone.

8) One last thought with headphones on: How would this record match up if I played it along to the movie Koyaanisqatsi?

9) New favorite songs are immerging "The Quiet Before" (both versions) and "The Noise Thereafter".

10) Second Flashback: I remember taking a drivers ed. class in high school and the teacher firmly telling us during the fall season to never drive through massive piles of leaves swept to the side of the road no matter how tempting it is because children might be hiding or playing inside them. As morbid as this image is, it has never left me and I imagine the tragedy as an adult if it could be a scene in a movie. As pretend music director I would suggest a track from From Monument to Masses to guide this collision of rusted innocence and unspecting gore.

11) Back at home I find myself clicking over certain tracks to get to my favorite tracks. Not making the cut because I don’t have the focus for a 70 minute record all in one shot: "Comrades & Friends" and tracks 9-12

12) From Monument To Masses name may sound like a bad late 90’s emo band but I assure you this is emotional and moving music minus the high water pants and back pack.


PFM artfully rehashes the band’s my space bio but also accurately states "Schools of thought contend is not some "throwaway" remix album but a true notch in FMTM's discography that the band attests is as vital, representative, and artistically challenging as its last two albums.”

The final paragraph PFM states: “Even if it isn't enough to stand on its own, Schools of Thought Contend has a ton of strong, interesting, and exciting material. Its biggest drawback is the length. At 15 tracks, it's just too bloated, especially considering the source album only had seven. As a companion piece to its predecessor, Schools works, but without that support, it will probably find trouble standing on its own.”

The entire FMTM review is positive and with a closing comment that includes “strong, interesting and exciting” it would be easy to conceive a rating higher than a 7, not the 6.4 it actually got.

Personally I would have been content with a mere 10 tracks on this remix collection but the beauty of the forward button on any stereo is 15 tracks can be cut down to whatever number of songs makes you happy. No matter which will be your favorites there is enough impressive material on Schools of Thought Contend to make this a better than average full length release.