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Author Topic: Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON  (Read 4246 times)

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DC

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Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« on: May 20, 2004, 01:35:48 AM »

Like many people, I got into Mission of Burma after they disbanded.  The Maxell XL-II copy of Vs. that I made from my sister's album sometime in '85 or so went to that big cassette deck in the sky about ten years ago, due in large part to overplay.  I didn't rush out and buy a replacement copy and slowly the band kind of fell off my radar.  Occasionally, I would hear That's When I Reach for My Revolver, or Academy Fight Song and I would think, "man, I've got to replace that tape."  I never did get around to it, until last year.

The band regrouped last year to play some select shows.  The members all had other gigs, and guitarist Roger Miller still suffered from the tinnitus that caused the band to break up two decades ago.  They would play two or three shows and then they would take a few weeks off.  Fortunately, one of the cities they played last year was my own.  It was one of the best shows of the fifty or so I attended last year.  Three dudes, all around 50 years old, one of them wearing massive industrial earmuffs, and a drumset surrounded by a plexiglass wall.  It was odd to say the least.  But these guys can eat kids half their age for lunch.

Which brings us to ONoffON.  Albums labeled "First Album in 22 Years" should be looked at warily, to say the least.  Often, they should simply be avoided, at all costs.  But having seen them play last year, and preparing to see them again, I took a flyer and plunked down $24 for the 180-gram analog double vinyl album.  It was soooo worth it.  

This is one of those rare instances where the reviewers actually get it mostly right.  Splendidezine notes that the album picks up right where the band left off.  What they fail to mention is that Burma were so far ahead of the curve in 1982 that picking up that sound again in 2004 is undeniably relevant.  The tape loops and sound manipulations, the disjointed guitars, the deceptively complex bass lines, the heavy handed beats -- all laid atop an undercurrent of melody.  That's the fine line that so many indie noise-mongers of the twenty-first century try to walk.  Leave it to the old schoolers to pop up and show the neophytes how to do it proper-like.

At the same time, the band also brings their new experiences into the sound.  Miller has been doing live music for silent movies.  Bassist Clint Conley has his own indie-rock side project (Consonant).  So there is a bit more polish and finesse in ONoffON than when they were 25, but the power is no less.  It's like Randy Johnson, at the age of 40, still having enough to be tossing 98 mph fastballs in the ninth inning of his perfect game -- it's the whole package.

Watching them perform their new stuff live was beautiful.  The old songs, like all good old songs, evoked memories from years, years ago.  But the new stuff (both live and on the album) made me wonder -- what if D. Boon hadn't died?  What if Grant Hart and Bob Mould didn't hate each other?  Because if Burma is any indication, those great indie groups of the eighties weren't just one of those "right place, right time" phenomena.  They were brilliant musicians and songwriters who can still bring it.
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rva

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Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2004, 02:32:00 PM »

I may have to get this.  I always liked Mission of Burma.

180 gram vinyl.  wow.
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Rafe

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Re: Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2004, 05:13:23 PM »

Quote from: "DC"
But the new stuff (both live and on the album) made me wonder -- what if D. Boon hadn't died?  What if Grant Hart and Bob Mould didn't hate each other?  Because if Burma is any indication, those great indie groups of the eighties weren't just one of those "right place, right time" phenomena.  They were brilliant musicians and songwriters who can still bring it.
I totally agree with you, no question.

Good review - I'm going to try and sniff out a copy. Thanks.
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Am Meer

rva

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Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2004, 07:50:46 PM »

I just downloaded this from emusic.  Man, even at $15 for 65 downloads emusic still rocks.
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mona

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Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2004, 09:54:33 PM »

I love this band.
I love them.


I will find this album somewhere.
I have a personal theory that this band, besides all the millions of other great things, are an influence on Against Me!, a current personal favorite.


I'm pretty sure that Clint Conley developed tinnitus, hence the earmuffs.
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size=9]people kill me these days
there's keys in their eyes,
but they lock from the inside.

// jawbreaker[/size]

Rafe

  • Bit of a cunt
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Misiion of Burma -- ONoffON
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2004, 04:56:16 PM »

I bought this last saturday from my "dealer" in Canterbury - I got the 180 g. variety.

Honestly, I think it's an excellent Record, I can't say it any better than DC already has.
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Am Meer
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