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CD review: Mission of Burma’s ‘Unsound’

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The Details

Mission of Burma
Unsound
Four stars

Having long since proved that reunions needn’t be nostalgia cash-ins, fabled post-punk outfit Mission of Burma carries on with its mission of churning out worthwhile records. Fourth second-phase album Unsound ranks with the best the Bostoners have ever released—1982’s classic Vs. not excepted—and in many ways sounds like the music the Burma boys might have gone on to make the first time, had guitarist Roger Miller’s tinnitus not forced the group’s early demise.

Unsound sounds messy as hell, in the best way possible. Its three-singer/three-songwriter mix vaults sharply from one stylistic approach to the next—the opening sequence alone takes us from Miller’s herky-jerky “Dust Devil” through bassist Clint Conley’s mini-epic “Semi-Pseudo-Sort-of Plan” to drummer Peter Prescott’s punky fist-pumper “Sectionals in Mourning”—yet its overall energy never lets up.

Conley contributes two other highlights, the snaking “Second Television” and the fast-flying “7’s,” the latter of which pairs with Prescott’s anthemic “What They Tell Me” (featuring trumpet work from producer/fourth member Bob Weston) for a one-two punch that’ll practically turn the volume knob for you.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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