Review Summary: Unequivocally aggressive in nature, Unsound is a welcomed step forward for Mission of Burma.
Easily, you could say that Mission of Burma has been the same band that they were since their defiant albeit feisty post-punk days of the 80s cropped about. Since those days, their diverse musical bombardments they have exhibited equally, relishing their post-punk roots – usually taking their experimental grandeur to the points of lucidity to hyperactivity. And despite this claim, they still have a resounding sensation and structure around their music. Their melancholy moments have been somewhat subdued in since the 90s, but they still have yet to back down on their intrepid style that garners as much promise as it did when Signals, Calls and Marches EP
released consecutive years 1981-1982. Unsound, for all its pensive times, still unequivocally remains the same Mission of Burma as portrayed upon early releases with great conviction of aggression, but their passive notions are never barren as they were on The Sound, The Speed, The Light
. Instead, this interwar that accumulates between the heavier sides within Unsound are never a bore and more of a introduction to the less knowledgeable listeners of their history, just as “Sections of Mourning,” shouts with its intensity with neither member relinquishing a inch of instrumental territory, as a result, is for the betterment of the Unsound
It is a bit strange to see a band, just back from their reunion show such concentrated and powerful work. The overwhelming feeling that trails all around Unsound is that Roger Miller, Clint Conley, and Peter Prescott have gotten to the point of sheer freedom. Their best work, specifically in the 80s was both highly intelligent lyrically and showed general ability instrumentally, but the band eluded the more obvious classification of hardcore punk, due to their experimental nature. Yet, they mirrored the same sentiments that movement bellowed for the short years it was active. Thus, this post-punk band belonged within a genre that held some water within their music, alternative. It is through this “experimental nature” that Mission of Burma flourished for the short period of time they existed in the 1980s and framed their sound around the sphere of influence they were incorporated with. Unsound for all its distorted mannerisms is still embedded with the same philosophy Mission of Burma had began with, which is why it remains a force rather than whimper for a band in their second stint, usually a sign of futility. Rampant as always, just as seen as in “Fell–>H2O,” the trio still remains true to themselves. Distort the beginnings, tell your tale and allow vortex of sound warp the vocals. While this reaction during the 90s was non-existent it is evident throughout their emergence in the 2000s. Even in its meek and timid run in The Sound, The Speed, The Light
, it is clear more than ever that Unsound
is back to bully with no boundaries.
Thus, they’ve done away with conventional past, Mission of Burma breathe new life in their group, creativity is seen within “Add in Unison” with trumpet squirreling about in the background of the bass attacks handed out by Conley. To the burgeoning elevating guitar work that never quite has any quit on the closer, “The Opener.” Their interchanging vocal responsibilities still beautifully flow within each track, never quite enough to fester away their flashes of brilliance throughout their shortest album ever. Indeed, it is probably their best since Vs.
In a recent interview with MTVHive, Miller remembers how they trashed their original track list because it “sounded too much like Misson of Burma”. How ironic, just as crazy it may sound, as the screeches on “7’s,” yelp “that means perfect sense because it is totally ridiculous.” Yet, with more fierce character in every aspect and production wise give a far more disoriented feeling, however, just as constructive as days past Mission of Burma were, they indeed connect on almost every level to keep true and continue to be different.