9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2009
I was first introduced to Mission of Burma in 1983 with Signals, Calls and Marches. My favorite cut was "That's When I Reach for My Revolver". MOB embodied what I love most about music - dissonance and beauty. Melodicism and Distortion. Their first full-length, Vs., remains one of my favorite albums of the era.
I found much to like with their comeback material, but both OnOffOn and The Obliterati were a bit bombastic for my taste. Oh, but The Sound The Speed The Light transports me to the days of Vs. The attitude is still rebelious, the musicianship edgey, but the band has slowed their hand just enough to allow the melodies and hooks to stand front and center, right where I like 'em.
There's a nice variety here - from the ballad-like "Feed" to the roaring "1,2,3, Partyy!" to the tough march of "Blunder" - MOB shows a sophisticated command of theory and cacophony.
MOB has gone back in time thirty years, and in the process proven that they're still lightyears and heads and shoulders above the current crop of proto-punk rockers.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2009
Raised on a sugary diet of the Vandals, Descendents and the Misfits, I can't claim to have sophisticated musical tastes. But I know goodness when it strikes my ear drums, and Mission of Burma is goodness and then some. Never mind the fact their magic reached me only through the plastic-guitar conduit known as Rock Band. One time through That's When I Reach For My Revolver left me hooked and I haven't looked back, proudly adding digital copies of vs., Signals, Calls and Marches, ONoffON, The Obliterati, and The Horrible Truth About Burma to my distinguished music collection with a vague sense of accomplishment. No one will laugh at my music now that Mission of Burma is there to class things up! Well, you can still laugh, it's okay.
But I digress. Think of how high I jumped out of my office chair at work to discover on Wikipedia that Mission of Burma was releasing another album! (It was only about an inch or so). I downloaded The Sound, The Speed, The Light the moment it was downloadable - or several minutes later - and braced myself for the inevitable: the first listen through any Burma album is like a first date with a badger at your favorite diner. The badger is kinda ornery, steals all your disco fries, and has an oddly musky smell. But then, when you think you've been had, the badger busts out their Diner's Card and pays for the whole meal - and orders you more disco fries to replace the ones they snarfed! Plus they slip you some smokes.
The Sound, The Speed, The Light is exactly like that. At first listen-through, it underwhelmed me. By the third and fourth times, I was picking my favorite tracks and thanking my Lucky Charms these guys had come out of retirement and had the good sense to buy me more fries - I mean songs. Good Cheer, So F**k It and One Day We Will Live there will put the zing back in your zag, After the Rain and Feed will make you weep yourself into a mid-afternoon nap, 123Party!! will make you smirk that smirk you get when you - finally! - have an inside joke to laugh about, and Slow Faucet will teach you a little something about the special sadness you get from being the last song on an album.
Hopefully, Burma's long-anticipated country album will soon be in the works, and failing that, they can go on tour again. If they're not already there! Gotta go!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2009
Innovative & energetic Boston music legends bless us with their 5th album since 1982, guided by
dynamic, jerky post-punk rhythms that ride the edge of chaos with a controlled sense of melodic
urgency. These are neo-futuristic torn-curtain roars in the tense-but-graspable core of rock
music. Members have also played in Volcano Suns, Birdsongs Of the Mesozoic, Kustomized.