Leafing through the whimsically framed liner notes to On Little Known Frequencies reveals an essay from the “New/Old Noise Collaborative’s 2008 National Conference,” which for all I know, occurred in the smoky basement of a 20-something with plenty of drinks to go along, it’s clear that From Monument To Masses are trying to take up the well-worn ethic of the Refused, but somehow, do it with instrumental post-rock.
Unfortunately, the political undercurrent does little to separate From Monument To Masses from the unnatural swelling of instrumental post-rock that has inspired bands who have too much trouble to find a singer or too little confidence to try to speak up for themselves, yet still want to write rock songs. It’s not to take anything away from Frequencies’ noble intentions or design—as these projects go, it’s not half-bad—but the album fails to grasp the idea that songs without singing should be written differently than songs with.
If anything, the few samples, mostly socio-political in nature, that buttress Frequencies should have been increased tenfold, as somewhat cheesy as that might sound in theory, or at least given a little something in terms of spoken word, a scream—anything—to make this a truly worthwhile endeavor.
In A Word: Short