By: Eric Greenwood
Mission of Burma just makes all the imitators sound silly. I simply can't get over how good this record is. When the band returned in 2004 with Onoffon, over two decades after disbanding due to guitarist Roger Miller's hearing loss, I was justifiably skeptical of its motives and abilities. Reunions almost invariably fail, revealing sadly delusional perspectives from once great idols, but Mission of Burma returned with something more to say. And, more importantly, it still knew how to say it.
From the opener "2wice", it's obvious that Onoffon was no accident. This is Mission of Burma's most aggressive and impassioned record to date. I realize that's a bold statement, but it edges out even the band's seminal classic Vs. with its shear sonic power. It literally crackles in your speakers thanks in part to Shellac bassist Bob Weston's punchy production coupled with the band's relentless energy and drive.
It's only natural that a certain level of nostalgia helped usher the band back from the dead, but The Obliterati rips to shreds any sentimental attachment to the past. This is a band in the now of the now. Motivated by political disaffection, Mission of Burma skewers its enemies without sounding preachy or pedantic. It's an onslaught of equal parts melody and disjointed noise, or, more simply put, American post-punk of the highest order.