9/10 Brian Staff review, 30 November 2012
Well, let's face it, Mission of Burma were one of the most exciting, incendiary American bands. They straddled the intersection where the raw, chaotic visceral thrill of post-punk met a volatile, melodic strain of experimental hardcore rock and partied well into the ‘80s before they sadly called it a day in 1983. Then they surprised everyone by re-grouping for Matador records twenty years later with Shellac's Bob Weston standing in for their original tape manipulator/sonic engineer Martin Swope. The guys haven't looked back since and have delivered four albums since then which is, like, triple the output of their initial flurry of activity which cemented their name in legend.
This is a mammoth best-of, a beginners’ guide if you will. I don't quite know what else to say except that if you love the sound of edgy, taut, wiry guitars and urgent angular American indie rock then this thumper of a collection is going to be of massive interest to you, even if you've already delved head-first into their thrilling sound-world with stunning albums such as their indispensable debut 'Vs', an immensely powerful record that has not dated one iota in 30 years. MOB were/are a visionary collective of individuals that influenced literally countless bands back in the day, groups that so many of you count on to deliver the goods nowadays. How they manage to shoehorn such excitement and tuneful velocity into their songs I dunno, they don't particularly sound quite like anyone else. To put it crudely I'd say they come over a little like a Yank version of Wire but with a more abrasive, feral edge, replete with more shard-like trails of feedback/noise, demented little hooks, stunning punk energy and breathless dynamism.
They've softened a bit in recent times a but still retain a stately forward-thinking edge to their music that makes them a really thought-provoking proposition for anyone interested in intelligent alternative rock with an raw emotional, passionate core. A very important band for sure.
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- Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma by Mission Of Burma
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