MUSIC REVIEW: Mission of Burma

The Obliterati Matador
Music ••••½ Sound ••••½
Mission of Burma's 2004 disc ONoffON was a thoroughly respectable if slightly cautious reunion effort, but this follow-up is simply a great record - sharp and severe enough to win the band its reputation as art-punk leaders all over again. This isn't quite the Burma of old, since catchy hooks and choruses take a back seat to jarring tempo changes and Roger Miller's guitar blasts. Even resident popster Clint Conley comes up with the Stooges-like opener "2wice." Meanwhile, the band's caustic humor is intact. Don't ask why it makes sense to quote an old Donna Summer hit within a noise jam, or to close the album with a surrealistic protest song about Nancy Reagan's body parts. It just does. A bonus DVD has four songs from Burma's opening set at a Pixies gig in 2004, with a vivid 5.1-channel mix and an especially scathing "That's When I Reach for My Revolver." Now where's the rest of the set?

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