UnsoundAlbum | Mission Of Burma By Stewart Mason
Post-punk's most unexpected reunion keeps paying off.
10 years and four albums into their reunion, Mission of Burma have unexpectedly turned into the Yo La Tengo of the late '70s post-punk era: there's a new album every few years, and even if it doesn't have the passion and immediacy of the records that made the band's name, it's unfailingly solid. (And also like YLT, Burma is a can't-miss proposition live: they never disappoint.) Unsound continues this string, delivering exactly what we expect from Mission of Burma (aggressive guitar noise, tape loop manipulations, and a powerhouse rhythm section) with just enough change-ups to keep things interesting, like Bob Weston's trumpet interjections on the kinetic "ADD In Unison" and the clever speakerphone vocals on "This Is Hi-Fi." As always, the dynamic tension between guitarist Roger Miller's experimental tendencies and bassist Clint Conley's poppier tunes ("Second Television" being Conley's finest showcase this time out) is the album's main throughline, though Peter Prescott's "Sectionals In Mourning" and "What They Tell Me' are as good as anything the drummer has contributed to a Burma album.