Release Date: May 4, 2004
Record label: Matador
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Forced into retirement in 1983 by singer-guitarist Roger Miller's tinnitus, post-punkers Mission of Burma have spent the past two decades being name-checked by the likes of REM, Moby and Graham Coxon. The songs here sound as if the tension built up over such a long spell of lying dormant has been released to thrilling effect. Alongside guitars that sound like machinery and tape manipulations, there is real power and passion here.
Since they never depended upon a pose, or a moment, or an attitude, or any of that rock ‘n’ roll symbolism, Mission of Burma has always been a good candidate for a reunion. Their albums were sufficiently advanced that they could pick up where they left at any time and still be well ahead of their erstwhile peers. A reunion certainly seemed unlikely: Mission of Burma never translated their critical acclaim into record sales; guitar player Roger Miller suffered from tinnitus, making it difficult to get through Mission of Burma’s notoriously loud performances; and Clint Conley hadn’t recorded or performed since the mid-’80s.