Mission of Burma
ONoffON picks up where Mission of Burma left off when it disbanded in 1982, and yet the music sounds as distinct today as if 20 years of social change had made little impact on the power of the band’s epic, passionate crash-and-rant. Everyone, from Unwound, Versus, R.E.M. to Moby, was influenced by the Boston trio composed of guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott. Beginning the album, “The Setup” detonates, with Miller barely able to contain himself in his discontent. Strangely enough, it’s not anger he exudes but resignation with human nature (“A heart is sensitive, it sets itself up”). In addition to the sound loops, feedback, harmonics and guitar bluster, Mission of Burma demonstrates a limitless dexterity in delivering words and worlds more powerful than any guitar amp. This album is the greatest surprise of the last 10 years, and perhaps the best album of that time period.