Monday, July 19, 2010

Top 50 Albums of the 00s - #22: Mission of Burma - The Obliterati

Yep, we're counting down the top 50. Click here for overview and criteria.

Well this sure as hell never should have happened. Or at least we never expected it. First the backstory. We don't have time for the long version. Allmusic sums it up this way: "Of all the punk-inspired bands that came out of Boston in the early '80s, none were better than Mission of Burma." Then in 1983 Roger Miller developed a severe case of tinnitus from being in a band that played so fucking loud, and Mission of Burma was no more. But nearly twenty years later, by chance or luck or perhaps modern technology, they got the band back together.

For me Mission of Burma was always more of a legend than anything tangible. I knew the songs, but they were before my time. The news of the band reuniting sparked my interest, and after seeing them at the Double Door, I was in awe. I realized what I had been missing, only this time I was at least on point for their new material.

It's important to understand that this brand of intentional dissonance is not for everyone. I think I probably said something similar to that last time when presenting Don Caballero, but at least on that record, you can sense the jazz influence. Here you need to be prepared for a rugged, dirty approach to rawking until you feel your ears leaking blood. And even if you're ready, it's going to take a while to get the feel for where each song is going.

I could have easily chosen their comeback album, Onoffon, which obviously must score higher on the significance factor and features many winning tracks such (my personal favorite: "The Enthusiast"). But The Obliterati is even stronger top to bottom. There's not a dud on the record, and I find myself going back to it more often. Tracks like "13," "1001 Pleasant Dreams," and "Donna Sumeria" simply don't get old. And besides, any classic band can have a successful comeback record. But there are scant few who can actually build the reunion into something not only worthwhile, but lasting.

Youtube didn't have much for us this time around. But enjoy the album closer for now!

Previous Entries:
#23 - Don Caballero - World Class Listening Problem
#24 - The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
#25 - Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
#26 - Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
#27 - Idlewild - 100 Broken Windows
#28 - Common - Be
#29 - The Futureheads - News and Tributes
#30 - The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
#31 - Wolfmother - Wolfmother

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