Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the pinnacle of post-punk
I first encountered Burma on the radio; "Academy fight Song" and "Revolver" were actually "hits" on a major Boston radio station -- this being waaay back in the day before Clearchannel bought up everything and radio became the same sucky suck on every channel. Good catchy punk songs, they grab you quickly. (Though "Academy" really reveals its multi-tracked mystery in...
Published on January 14, 2006 by G. Fazio

versus
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm one of the "don't get its"
Well I wasn't really around for the early 80's Boston music scene as I was born in 1977, but still, I definitely don't get this album. That's When I Reach For My Revolver is a truly astounding, beautiful song. I'm glad I own it. Academy Fight Song is good but not great. Nothing else on this album is very interesting. What's the big deal? They were avant-garde...
Published on October 15, 1999


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the pinnacle of post-punk, January 14, 2006
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
I first encountered Burma on the radio; "Academy fight Song" and "Revolver" were actually "hits" on a major Boston radio station -- this being waaay back in the day before Clearchannel bought up everything and radio became the same sucky suck on every channel. Good catchy punk songs, they grab you quickly. (Though "Academy" really reveals its multi-tracked mystery in headphones...) It wasn't till some time later, coming down on clear MIT-blotter acid one misty dawn, that I heard "Signals, Calls, and Marches" in full, but when i did, it completely redefined what I thought was possible with a guitar, a bass, and some drums. (And tape loops, aaah, the tape loops...) "Revolver" pulls you in with its angular intensity, shakes you around ("and now the sky is empty, but that is nothing new..."), then leaves you hanging on this melancholy chord, which --before you ever have time to process it-- has Peter Prescott pushing you with his kick drum into "Outlaw", which kicks in with a jagged, ideologically choppy riff. "Fame and Fortune" rolls in on an epic, moody wave, and build in intensity before crashing into this haunting, spacious breakdown that has Roger pulling all sorts of sounds out of his guitar. And for two guys who never really put technique before passion in their vocals, Roger & Clint always come up with these rough harmonies that seem all the more effective for rising out of a sea of noise. (Something Husker Du would later take to the bank...) Side 2 (oops, showing my age) kicks off with "This Is Not A Photograph" which features Dada-esque lyrics, an absolutely PRIMAL riff, and some sicksickSICK slide guitar plunges from Roger. "Red" is a journey through all sorts of terrain; "there's a window in my head", don't you know it. This one starts off thrashing, and dissolves into this abstract chaos, a looping octave-jumping bassline with a completely note-free guitar-solo, and swirling loops of vocal madness that just take this BEYOND. Then it all comes down with the chiming, double-guitar chords of "All World Cowboy Romance", perhaps Burma's most melodic track, and all without a vocal (except for their trademark "oohs" in the background...) Rhytmically, structurally, tonally, lyrically, this band was capable of stuff I haven't heard anyone equal since. (OK, well UZI and early Sonic Youth came close.) But with this band, it all came down to an indefinable mad passion and intensity, and that comes across clearly on this record. I remember deciding to listen to this every day for 100 days straight, and I did, because I wasn't sure I'd ever hear anything as good and I wanted to savor this album, to burn it into my brain so deeply that it would cut the grooves on the grey matter. To this day, I can hear this album note for note in my head, and that's an intimacy I have declined to share with any other record.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start your Mission here, November 15, 2000
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
I'm a big fan of postpunk, and this album is one of the shining gems of the genre. Bands were taking to heart the freedom that punk rock offered and taking the music to a new place. Burma were the voice of America in a postpunk world dominated by Wire, Gang of Four, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, et al. If you like any of these bands, or are interested in this incredibly vital period in rock music, Mission of Burma is necessary to your life. 'That's When I Reach for My Revolver', 'Academy Fight Song', and 'This is not a Photograph' are probably the best three songs to start your Burma fascination, and they're all on this album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not a single bad song, June 13, 2004
By 
Fat Brad (West Melbourne, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
okay, I picked this up mainly from hearing that fugazi was influenced by this band and because of the book Our Band Could Be Your Life. I am incredibly pleased that I bought this album. Each song is complex and dense, especially songs like Red and Max Ernst. The guitar, bass, and especially drum playing is really really well done and original. here is a synopsis of each song:
Thats When I Reach for my Revolver- awesome song, great lyrics, one of their poppiest tunes, but still rather good. Its just like Roger Miller said, every song Clint writes he has to include a bass solo. one of the funner songs on the album
Outlaw- straight out of the Gang of Four Bag O' Tricks, this song takes a few listens to appreciate. it is sorta danceable (!) and much better than some Franz Ferdinand songs.
Fame and Fortune- Roger's attempt of writing a commercial song, but still rather good. a highlight, but sadly I havent listened to this album in awhile, so I cant say too much about it. Pretty catchy and strong
This Is Not A Photograph- great song, the cries of "this is not a photograph" is one of the hooks in this song, and its got a few. I like the guitar work.
Red- My favorite lyrics from this EP. great tune...I need to listen to it again.
All World's Cowboy Romance (is that the right title?)- Fun instrumental. I like it when it starts to get really noisy
Academy Fight Song- another one of those "hits" that wasnt actually a hit. their catchiest song, with layers upon layers of guitar. How can you not sing along in the chorus?
Max Ernst- My favorite song off of this. For me, its like their punk song, but its also got experimental stuff, like the weird timed breakdown and the yells of dada. great tune.
I probably should have written this review after listening to this album again, but overall I believe if you know of this album, you are going to buy it. great stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spaciously coiled, sonic tension, brainy brawn, August 15, 2006
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
One of the first CDs I bought was Rykodisc's 1987 MoB complete compilation; it was at the time the longest CD yet issued! The sound on that, I thought, could not be bettered, but after waiting a while to buy the remastered EP, this is not a cash-in job simply getting you to pay for the album again in (for me) its third form (counting my vinyl). I tend not to 'upgrade' a CD unless absolutely convinced it's one needing improvement. On this, I admit I gambled. I thought MoB sounded fine on that pioneering CD, but this re-issue nearly a decade later shows the sound's tighter and ratcheted up a bit more in intensity.

Which is saying a lot for MoB. The first four songs stand here as one of the most powerful post-punk statements ever recorded. The next eight (two--which were a single--are added to the original six). Why four stars? Well, I never liked "Academy Fight Song," but even its clunkiness sounds passable here--it's in a better place following the EP as it was meant to be heard; the 1987 chronologically ordered compilation began with "AFS," but I think it's moved better as a footnote than title header, so to speak.

For a young band's first recorded songs, these show maturity in lyrical ambition (if a bit too strained into prep school self-consciously alienated smarts on the two single songs), precise musical arrangements, and three singer-songwriters in training. It sounds spacious yet coiled, and prepares you for their triumph, "VS." as more than a warm-up. (I might add that while their reunion "Off/On" nearly matched "VS.", that their third album, this year's "The Obliterati" (great multi-level pun) may even surpass "VS." in its formidable stature. This EP shows that the band had what it takes for the long haul, then and now. It comes out roaring, and combines brains with brawn in a way few "college radio/alternative" bands of the era have managed to come close to. I don't think any American post-punk band on an early 80s debut surpassed this EP.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When I reach for 'Signals, Calls and Marches', May 28, 2000
By 
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
When I want to show someone where the Burma experience began for me I will put this Ep on the turntable. Granted That's When I Reach for My Revolver is the standout track, the nature of the format dictates that featured tracks often eclipse the others on a great many Eps & singles. Perhaps self-consciously avante-garde tracks like This Is Not a Photograph or Max Ernst seem out of place. Max Ernst was a holdover from the pre-Burma band The Moving Parts and Photograph had been refined to such a degree that this version would effectively supplant the earlier version in the minds of all but the completist. How about All World Cowboy Romance, an irresistably silly title behind which a layered and cunning beauty resides. All of that said, if you haven't already purchased VS. (not to be confused with the Pearl Jam album of the same name) then do so without delay. VS. is where anyone interested in Burma should start. Nothing can prepare you. No amount of listening to early glories such as Academy Fight Song (not on Signals, Calls and Marches Ep originally anyway) will come close, so few records have. This endlessly inventive, humorous, passionate and influential collection will stand on its own merits with or without critical acclaim. Like a "..mineral deposit, a ball of mica, inside a rock."! There is no non-essential Mission of Burma.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you won't be dissapointed, February 14, 2005
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
A truly historic band, Mission of Burma challenged not merely the status quo of the mid 80's punk/hardcore, but the very constraints of BLAH BLAH BLAH - if you want a an overwrought, spin-filled history of MoB, go read Pitchfork or SPIN. This is a great CD with most of the band's "hits" (ha!) and is probably the best introduction to the band for new listeners. Plus, it has the amazing Academy Fight Song b-side from the Max Ernst 7". I can't pigeonhole their sound to any specific genre, but it has as much in common with Gang Green as it does Gang of Four. The songs have intelligent lyrics, complex structures, catchy riffs, hummable choruses, and whether you're a punk looking for something a cut above the average 80's Boston hardcore, a hipster riding their reunion buzz or just looking for some great, timeless music, you really can't go wrong with Mission of Burma.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Albums of the 80's, July 4, 2003
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
This is my favorite MoB album. In fact, it has what I consider one of the best songs ever written on it: Max Ernst. After having it on album in the 80's, I picked this up on CD a few years ago and listened to it again. Some have said it sounds dated. Yes, it does. But so do The Strokes, White Stripes, The Hives, The Vines, and most other bands out there. At least MoB actually sound like the period they're from. And I'm not knocking all the above mentioned bands, I'm just pointing out that it shouldn't be maligned because it sounds like the era its from.
That's When I Reach for My Revolver is a fantastic song. But the whole album is great. I've been listening to it again consistantly for about 5 years now -- and that's something I never do. It's in my top five albums of the 80's and would be one I carted off to a desert island.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the last great american bands, February 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
signals, calls, and marches is one of the most powerful debuts in music history and the perfect place to start if you're interested in burma. it shows a band that's not quite worn off their influences(wire,gang of four,pere ubu,the stooges), but has most certainly made the best of them. the songwriting(sometimes a weakpoint in this genre)is good as well, which helps to make this listenable for the uninitiated. the only highly abrasive moments are in "outlaw"(a jerky gang of four-ish stomp)and "this is not a photograph"(a hyper slide guitar rocker). the cd tacks on "academy fight song"(possibly their most recognized song with the exception of "...revolver")and "max ernst"(a dedication to the painter and dadaism). this certainly isn't relaxing music(with the possible exception of "all world cowboy romance") and it will probably annoy most of your friends(at least your square ones), but it will introduce you to one of the last great american bands.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precursor to Indie Punk of Today, November 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
Original music and lyrics-Mission of Burma were unlike any other band of their time. This CD (I have the original 6-song vinyl EP) contains more accessible songs than their opus "Vs.", but is nonetheless a masterpiece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Effusive praise, barely restrained, November 22, 2005
By 
This review is from: Signals Calls & Marches (Audio CD)
A crystalline distillation of everything that was Boston's MOB. Grrrrrrr-eat songs like "This Is Not A Photograph" and "Acadamy Fight Song" punctuated with Roger Miller's twisting guitar. This is an envigorating listen, right up there with "Spiral Scratch."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Signals, Calls & Marches
Signals, Calls & Marches by Mission Of Burma (Audio CD - 2009)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.