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Mission of Burma - The Definitive Editions I, II and III

Released on Matador Records, 3/18/08

American post-punk band, Mission of Burma, who formed in Boston in 1979, is bringing tears of nostalgia back to the eyes of the 80s punk revolution. Rebellious, unconventional and powerful, the re-mastered sound of albums, Vs, Signals, Calls and Marche, and live album The Horrible Truth About Burma, easily the best of their Ace of Hearts Catalogue, are finally being re-released by Matador Records.

If you’re a fan, you already know you’ll love these albums. If you’re not yet a fan, but appreciate punk in its raw, college-dorm form, you soon will be. The band was formed by Roger Miller (guitar), Clint Conley (bass), Peter Prescott (drums) and Martin Swope (tape manipulator/sound engineer); they disbanded in 1983 when Miller developed tinnitus as a result of the band’s rocking live performances. Five seconds in to, "Tremolo", the very first song on live album The Horrible Truth About Burma, you’ll understand how this is possible. Purely instrumental, this song starts off quite gently and becomes grittier and grittier with each strum of the guitar. It is a wonder Miller’s head didn’t explode.

Instead, Miller’s multi-dimensional guitar attacks and hisses fiercely as Conley, Prescott and Swope get so melodic that even abrasive, razor sharp tunes like "New Nails" (Vs) flow effortlessly.

Having shared the stage with legends such as Sonic Youth, and with their songs living on through new legends such as REM and Moby, Mission of Burma’s re-releases are an ode to old-school punk combined with a humor and looseness that creates an interesting contrast to the ferocity of the music.

"Dumbells" on Horrible, debut recording "Academy Flight Song" and "Max Earnst" (recorded about the German artist) from Signals, take you back to a place you haven’t visited since you were 15. Lazing on your bed, cigarette in hand, skinny black jeans ripped across the knees, playing that punk as loud as you can just to piss off your parents -- good times.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.