Tag Archives: Mission of Burma

Mission Of Burma – The Sound The Speed The Light

Mission Of Burma - The Sound The Speed The LightMission Of BurmaThe Sound The Speed The Light (Matador)

A few years ago, one of the members of Mission of Burma hinted that the band realistically had a few years left before calling it a day. The idea was that the style of music they play is such a sonic assault that it will become physically impossible for the members to perform.

The Sound The Speed The Light is the third album into MoB’s resurrection and it sounds like they’re performing with an eye towards the end along with a clear memory of how simple things were when they were just young kids discovering novel ways to damage their hearing.

Continue reading Mission Of Burma – The Sound The Speed The Light

Streams: Mountain Goats, XX, Mission of Burma, more

Tune in!AOL/Spinner is streaming the following new releases through Sunday, October 12:

Mountain Goats, 'Life of the World to Come' (MP3)

The XX, 'XX' (MP3)

Mission of Burma, 'The Sound the Speed the Light' (MP3)

Daniel Johnston, 'Is and Always Was' (MP3)

More streams after the jump, and as always, let us know if you hear anything good!

Continue reading Streams: Mountain Goats, XX, Mission of Burma, more

Fun with Forkcast, Round 16

Pitchfork: ForkcastHere’s some good stuff that Pitchfork has given up recently on their Forkcast:

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – “Blanchard” from Through the Devil Slowly Softly, due September 15 on Nettwerk

Islands – “No You Don’t” from Vapours, due September 22 on Anti-

Black Francis – “All in My Mind” (Love & Rockets cover) from New Tales to Tell: A Tribute to Love and Rockets

The Dodos – “Fables” from Time to Die on French Kiss

More fun after the jump…

Continue reading Fun with Forkcast, Round 16

Pitchfork Music Festival 2008: Photos

MuddyThe Pitchfork Music Fest was doused in rain this year. But that didn’t keep GLONO photographer Alan M. Paterson from getting his feet muddy in order to get some good shots.

We’ll feature more coverage of the bands over the next few days, but for now you can feel like you were there by looking at the following photos…

Update: Day One; Days 2-3.


See the photos after the jump…

Continue reading Pitchfork Music Festival 2008: Photos

Mission of Burma – Signals, Calls and Marches

Mission of BurmaSignals, Calls and Marches (Rykodisc)

I was a year old when this EP was originally released. I was five when Mission of Burma broke up. The first time I was made aware of them was when I heard Moby’s cover of “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver” on Animal Rights. But I have spent the better part of this week wandering around downtown hollering “This Is Not A Photograph!” in my head, with my own mental approximation of Roger Miller’s Boston-via-England vocal delivery.

I get the same feeling when listening to this collection of eight bits of angular, melodic noise that I did when I first heard the Clash and the Ramones: I wondered how I had existed this long without having them in my life. I wondered why I didn’t pay attention when I sat around listening to my snotty rock friends talk about Fugazi’s influences. These songs walk the line between noise and beauty. For every dissonant chord, punk sneering (“Outlaw”), and railing against “Fame and fortune,” we turn a corner and find harmonized, lovely voices within the same song. This is to say nothing about the sensitivity to be found in the lyrics, as illustrated beautifully on “Red”: “There’s a window in my head / there’s a window in my heart / I look out of it as I’m sleeping / and then I am torn apart.” We then turn another corner to be confronted with the beautiful guitar and ooh-ooh crooning of “All World Cowboy Romance.” You can hear everything within Mission of Burma.

For those of you who wish to be purists but don’t have the budget to accumulate this band’s entire discography, this reissue of their 1981 EP is a fine place to start as it adds “Academy Fight Song” and “Max Ernst,” the a- and b-side of their first single. Perhaps you even already own the reissue and it’s moldering at the back of your closet someplace. For the love of God, un-molder it. Give it to your little brother who thinks that Avril and Sum 41 are the pinnacle of punk. Wave it in front of your neighbor who has never forgiven you for engaging her in that debate about George Michael’s greatest hits. (You know you love them too; it’s okay, we’re all friends here.) But the bottom line is extremely simple: listen to it.

It will reaffirm what you loved about music in the first place. It will make it okay to breathe again. It may even change your life.


Mission of Burma’s back; Conley presents Consonant

Punk rock’s shadow war with pop music and the establishment during its late 70s/early 80s heyday fostered numerous incarnations of aggressive, agenda-supported guitar music. On the east coast, a particularly volatile, intellectual, and creative strain developed groups who would make a punk rock with just as much noise and grind as the kids in Philly and Detroit, but with brains and skinnier hips to boot. Groups like The Feelies and The Talking Heads (and later Galaxie 500 and The Pixies) would spend their careers – both long and short – making music that amazed and influenced countless bands, both contemporary and current. On the “big influence” side of this coin, perhaps no other proto punk pioneer ranks higher in the hearts and minds of many than Boston’s Mission of Burma.

In what is so often the case, Burma left only a brief recorded testament to its smart, sandpaper sound. After four years, a few EPs, and only one proper studio album, Mission of Burma conceded to guitarist Roger Miller’s chronic tinnitus; the group’s famously explosive volume had forced him to wear shooters’ ear protection during their farewell tour. Its concise recorded output may have contributed to Mission of Burma’s adoration. But don’t discount the music. As a trio full of pounding rhythm, agitated vocals and Miller’s corrosive guitar, the band still found space to explore melody and feeling. Part of this was ambience: soundman and fourth member Martin Swope contributed tape loops that often added an intangible layer of ethereal noise into Burma’s punk rock sediment. Ryko’s re-release of the original Ace of Hearts recordings for the Signals, Calls & Marches EP is the perfect Mission of Burma time capsule. Including as it does the 1980 7″ single “Academy Fight Song/Max Ernst,” the retrospective re-tells the story of a band that found the sonic heart of punk rock, cut it out from under the rib cage, and plugged it into an amplifier.

This past month, Mission of Burma participated in the UK All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, curated by Shellac, as did Consonant, Burma bassist/vocalist Clint Conley’s new band, featuring Chris Brokaw of Come on guitar, and drummer Matt Kadane, of spectacularly defunct Texans Bedhead. Consonant revisits the literate, slightly aloof vocals of Conley’s old band, while his new one is given an invitation to re-invent a hero’s sound. Brokaw’s guitar threads its way between the ear-catching vocals, which at times contain somewhat jarring imagery surrounding the topics of love and rendered need. Bob Weston, Shellac bassist and sound engineer extraordinaire, contributes electronics to the Consonant album, as he did during Burma’s recent reunion shows at ATP and in New York and Boston. (Swope, now living in Hawaii, chose not to participate in the reunion, but hand-picked Weston as his replacement.) All in all, the new Consonant material works on two levels. First, it stands alone as a cool record by musicians who’ve all cut their teeth in influential groups. But second – and what’s maybe more interesting – is the way that Mission of Burma’s signature version of east coast punk ideology once again roars to life. The fact that Burma itself has recently done the same thing only drives home the point.

Consonant did a few east coast dates with Luna, but there is no full US tour currently scheduled. Visit Fenway Recordings for further album information.