Everything you need from pre-reunion Mission of Burma
M. McM | Los Angeles, CA | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This out-of-print compilation is a perfect CD. Mission of Burma originally formed in 1980 and broke up around 1983; during that brief run, they made a huge impact on the indie-rock scene with their intellectual songs and ferocious sound. They released only a small amount of material before splitting up, and this CD compiles most it, arguably everything worth owning.
A perfect introduction, it leads off with their classic single, "Academy Fight Song," followed by their equally classic Ep, SIGNALS, CALLS, AND MARCHES, in its entirety. Two unreleased tracks and a single (all three of which are very good) are followed by their excellent studio album, VS., in it's entirety and in the correct order - darker and more confrontational than the previous releases ("Academy Fight Song" and SIGNALS, CALLS, AND MARCHES have some great hooks packed in them), it would be their only studio album for a very long time.
After VS., the CD presents two decent tracks, a cover of the Stooges' "1970" and the original "Go Fun Burn Man," from their 'posthumous' live Lp, THE HORRIBLE TRUTH ABOUT BURMA - not the best example of their excellent stage performances, but a decent album nonetheless.
This is early, post-punk at its best. If you're a fan of Wire, Gang Of Four, the Mekons, and the Velvet Underground, this is definitely worth checking out. If you're just looking for one CD of early Mission of Burma, this is THE one to get.
BTW, Mission of Burma reunited for a few live shows in 2002 - those engagements eventually snowballed into their second studio album, ONOFFON, released in 2004, an excellent release that picks up right where they left off."