Rhythm & Views

Mission of Burma

Still way ahead of their time, Boston's Mission of Burma have pretty much based their career on choosing the wrong (or at least most unexpected) chord progression, one that takes patience to accept but whose result is ultimately more rewarding than just about any post-punk platter you love. That mission is certainly not abandoned on OnOffOn, their second full-length album in a span of--including 20 years off--a little more than 20 years.

The thing no reviewer I've read has mentioned about this album is that the vocals are completely discernable--in stark opposition to the years-long effort of trying to figure out what the hell all those cryptic '80s lyrics meant; and that's assuming you'd even made them out correctly to begin with (trust me, the struggle was all a very rewarding part of being a Burma fan).

Still, the vocals on OnOffOn are laid out nice and purty for ya, no debate needed. It's pretty much the only significant change in the sound you've come to expect.

Peter Prescott's drumming still sounds like he'll lose the groove at any second, then blow your tiny mind as you realize he was 19 bars ahead of you all the while; Roger Miller's difficult, dissonant songs are the mufuggin shit, period, as they always have been; and Clint Conley's always-accessible punk anthems are--despite logic--still in top form.

Sweet Jesus, people. It's a brand new, kick-ass Mission of Burma album--the very staff of life for which we Burma dorks have been waiting, and assumed we'd starve waiting for. Masticate, my friends; it's awfully delicious.

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