Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

L.A. Unheard: Masxs' 'Computer' masquerade [Updated]

November 10, 2011 | 12:31 pm

Masxs' 'Computer' Masquerade

The band: Eastside art-rock quartet Masxs.

The sound: On current single “Chairman Gou,” the band borrows a few tricks from Radiohead. The song narrates the suicides of Foxconn employees in China, making for an eerie spiritual sequel to the technologist paranoia of Radiohead’s “Palo Alto” and, of course, landmark album “OK Computer." Joaquin Pastor’s sour croon even nods toward that of Thom Yorke. When the song bursts from a minor key dirge into a climactic finale, the guitars are pure Jonny Greenwood. There are worse influences to have, and Masxs treats them as a tool, not a crutch, pushing the limits of its lo-fi budget on tracks such as “Esther Reed” and “Georgian Orange.”

The random: Like your favorite action figure, the band’s “Body Monsters” comes in two versions. There's a standard rock edition and a computer-spoken slam poetry take that evokes, yes, Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier.”

The details: The group has released a handful of tracks on its blog in recent months, with a debut EP, “Natural Born Winner,” due shortly. Update: Masxs will play the Satellite on Nov. 22, with another date lined up at the Bootleg Bar on Jan. 12, 2012. 

The music: Download “Chairman Gou” below and hear more on the band’s website.

MP3: Masxs -- "Chairman Gou"

-- David Greenwald

Photo: L.A. rock act Masxs. Credit: Cecilia Della Peruti