Mission of Burma

The Obliterati

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

When Mission of Burma released Onoffon in 2004, a large part of the album's charge for fans came from the mere fact it existed at all -- after calling it quits in 1983 thanks to Roger Miller's hearing problems, Mission of Burma seemed like the least likely of all great bands to reunite, and that they were able to reconvene in the recording studio without embarrassing themselves felt nearly as important as the quality of the music, strong and powerful as it was. So the fact MoB are still together in 2006 ups the ante for their second post-reunion album, and The Obliterati wastes no time proving that Onoffon's excellence was neither a fluke nor a trick of post-punk nostalgia. While the presence of songs like "Prepared" and "Nicotine Bomb" on Onoffon suggested maturity had made Mission of Burma a more subtle band, The Obliterati is the most aggressive and physically powerful record they've created to date -- from the moment "2wice" bursts from the speakers, this music never stops exploding like an artfully arranged case of fireworks, and the liberating energy and righteous rage of these 14 songs easily matches their salad days of combining the guitar-powered rage of punk with the intelligence and sonic adventure of art rock. While The Obliterati is short on explicit sloganeering, much of the disc's fury is clearly motivated by the polarizing policies of the George W. Bush administration, and "1001 Pleasant Dreams," "Nancy Reagan's Head," "Period," and "Spider's Web" find them putting their anger to excellent use -- this stuff is all crashing percussion from Peter Prescott, thick but nimble basslines from Clint Conley, and guitar leads from Roger Miller that hit their mark like a crystal sledgehammer. And while "Donna Sumeria" and "13" take a slightly more measured approach, both rise into a glorious peals of noise before they leave the stage. Bob Weston's engineering captures Burma's high-impact sound with commendable clarity and crunch, and his tape loops and sonic manipulations bring imaginative and effective punctuation to the arrangements. Mission of Burma's ability to rock out in a smart and ambitious manner without sacrificing their edgy, potent force has consistently made them one of the few bands to fully balance the mind-body equation, and The Obliterati suggests their music has been on a solid workout regimen that would exhaust Henry Rollins, while their brains can keep up without breaking a sweat. Sonic rabble-rousing doesn't get much better than this.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Mission of Burma
blue highlight denotes track pick