Rhythm & Views 

Mission of Burma

Well, it's finally time for the classic recordings by short-lived but long-loved Boston-area post-punkers Mission of Burma to receive the deluxe treatment, with digital remastering from the original analog tapes by original producer Rick Harte, lovingly repackaged by Matador records with extensive liner-note interviews with the band.

The reissue features the songs chronologically, so we get the original songs off the 1981 Signals, Calls and Marches EP after "Academy Fight Song" and "Max Ernst," the two songs from MoB's original 1980 debut 7-inch, and after two previously unreleased tracks recorded during the same period, "Devotion" and "Execution." The new songs sound great: Clint Conley's "Devotion" is a straightforward punk anthem, while Roger Miller's more idiosyncratic "Execution" is a mod rave-up with faltering chord progressions and crisp arpeggios.

But the real stars are the original EP songs that sound blisteringly good after their digital transfer. A reissue like this certainly invites reflection, and MoB's virtues shine brightly all these years after their heyday: Witness the angular rhythms and sparkling lead guitar on "Outlaw," the earnest unpracticed vocals on "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and the thrumming low-end and gorgeous guitar soundscapes on "All World Cowboy Romance."

Matador is reissuing MoB's full-length Vs. and their 1985 live LP The Horrible Truth About Burma as well, and they sound equally great. So the time is nigh to relive the soundtrack to your misspent youth--or, perhaps if you're new to Burma, to your latest hijinks.

More by Sean Bottai


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