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Obliterati

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Their third full-length studio album proper might be the most aggressive, raw, and challenging in the band's storied career. It's as relentless and engulfing an album as "Vs." some 24 years ago. Black humor, topical humor, general dense agro with hooks split into the sound like kindling. This is the next uneasy listening album of the year. "Sonic Youth sound like their cover band in comparison" - Launch.

1. 2wice
2. Spider's Web
3. Donna Sumeria
4. Let Yourself Go
5. 1001 Pleasant Dreams
6. Good, Not Great
7. 13
8. Man In Decline
9. Careening With Conviction
10. Birthday
11. The Mute Speaks Out
12. Is This Where?
13. Period
14. Nancy Reagan's Head

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B000F3AJLM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,023 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Careful Critic on May 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Shortest possible description: Explosively wonderful.

The difference between this and the previous "new era" release, OnOffOn, is virtually night-and-day. Whereas OnOffOn seemed often willfully difficult to listen to, more of a "fans-only" release, The Obliterati is *gloriously* listenable, and at NO compromise to the values or inventiveness that make Burma great. If one has never heard Burma before, THIS is the one to start with. (And then, once "warmed up," that same new listener should dive into the deep end of their original tour de force, Vs.)

I'm most struck by how TUNEFUL this is, often almost sweet-sounding, but without being as catchy or hook-laden as Signals, Calls & Marches (or the Gun to a Head collection). But make no mistake, Burma's wonderful racket and cacophony are live and well here. It's tuneful as a borderline condition, not an overriding condition, and doesn't cost any of Burma's tendency to thwart your expectations. ("1001 Pleasant Dreams" might sum up their jangle of dissonant momentum best for a new listener - melodically enchanting while defying strict harmony, creating a ringing echo around them as they barrel forward.)

Bob Weston mixed this one, and his sonic judgement sounds nearly impeccable - Burma's sound modulated for the 21st Century, more "feet-firmly-planted" than OnOffOn. "Good, Not Great" is a *fantastic* example of pulling this off (and I wish it was twice as long). "Man in Decline" and "Careening with Conviction" similarly bring Burma's sonic adventurism "up to date" without losing any by translation. Their original sound never dated badly to begin with (and Vs. not at ALL), but this album sounds truly current.

Perhaps the most perpetual strength of the record is Conley's muscularity of his bass.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By teachmeplease on May 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Just got this today. I was a big fan of their last album and saw them on tour in 2004. After a few listens (and any Mission of Burma albums requires a few to settle in), this is an amazing album. They are still masters of the unexpected, and find ways to incorporate tuneful, even funky (Nicotene Bomb on last album, Donna Sumeria on this one) elements into their crunchy noise. Roger Miller has an instantly recognizable guitar sound, but what's crazy is that Clint's style is almost as instantly recognizable, no small feat for a bass player. I'm not happy that they didn't include lyrics in the album insert, but I'm sure they can be found somewhere. If you are a MOB fan, you will be happy for several weeks after getting this -- I give this album two more days until I think it's better than Vs. Of all the 80s reunion bands (Gang of Four, Pixies et al) MOB are by far the most alive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Admirable accomplishment considering the artists and many of us who have followed MOB since the start are pushing fifty! I compare this effort to the recent releases by one of their few peers who have reformed and are stil rethinking their music: Wire. Both bands with all original members (nearly for MoB--tapes and production being longtime cohort Weston and not Swope, admittedly). This cohesion adds heft to this album that only a band three decades or so at it can boast. Like Wire, MoB in their 2000s incarnation builds upon their earlier work with added intensity--and density. The concentrated power that Weston's production combined with Prescott's drums--they keep the tunes from spinning off--Conley's bass: he moves the music around and laterally and tangentially, no mean feat given the assaultive tones around his instrument; Miller's guitar: he seems to be branching out a bit more here hearkening back to Vs more than On/Off, and getting interested in combining volume with depth.

This album does rank alongside Vs, and that's no hyperbole. Like Vs., this new one does bludgeon you so forceful is its attack. But more subtlety does emerge in the layered production--which needs to be amplified considerably for you to appreciate its sonic punch--and the playfulness of the arrangements. I don't know if it's five stars only because it either needs a few years to sink in fully (as was needed for me to grapple with and truly comprehend what was intended in their original work) or that it shares the MOB aesthetic of controlled chaos alongside studio craft, and that it simply sounds distinctive and harder to place alongside nearly any other band, then or now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Man Steam on June 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Album rips from start to finish. Less directionless tunes than Vs. Drums are always intense and interesting as in the opener "2wice." MOB is the Cream of art-punk, losing some of the textured shredery for a fresh live dynamic. MOB also tactfully rediscovers previously charted relevance in a neo-Regean American social landscape. Say "The Obliterati" whenever you find yourself in a discussion of old rock hacks reuniting ie Blondie and The New Cars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Rhakabit on August 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Generally speaking, I don't like to give the same band two 5 star reviews. It just goes against something about the whole rating system. I mean, a 5 star review should be great. Not really really good, but great. Nothing less. And in every band's case, their should be a best album. So that album, if worthy of it, should get the 5 stars, while the other album, which isn't as good due to some flaw, shouldn't. Even if it would, put out by another band. Well, Mission of Burma accomplished this 24 years ago with "Vs." So, 24 years later, what were the Stones, or Sr. Paul McCartney doing? Hell, even the great Lou Reed faltered after "Velvet Underground." So the idea that a great band could reform and do it again just seemed absurd, and no matter how good it was, could not move beyond 4 stars.

The only reason I put that little meaningless diatribe up there is so that you the reader can appreciate the thought I put into the rating. Yes, this album is 5 stars. It is every bit the equal of "Vs." but not more. The ethereal guitar noise is there. The lyrics are there. The tight rhythm section that pushes the boundaries of punk are all there. This is the exact same band that was in the studio recording "Vs." Not necessarily in personnel, but pretty close. But rather, they're the same in feel, in rebelliousness. The interesting thing about certain elements of punk in the 80's was that some of them were rebelling against the rebellion itself. Black Flag after "My War" were one of those bands. The Minutemen were one. And Mission of Burma proves that they still are rebelling against what could be described as punk, against society, and against musical conventions laid down by the greats like Robert Johnson or Chuck Berry.

This isn't rock and roll at it's finest. This isn't punk at it's finest. This isn't noise at it's finest. This is sound at it's finest.
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