Mission Of Burma

Mission Of Burma

Mission Of Burma

The Sound The Speed The Light

Matador Records

The masters of erratic looping are back with their fourth album The Sound The Speed The Light and hold the commas, please. They open strong with “1,2,3 Party!” which is almost the inverse of a headachey morning-after lament. “Speak only when drunken to” and “plan your drinks, drink your plan” sounds like good advice if only you can keep the idea right side up on nickel beer night. They’re doing nickel beer night tonight, right? Good. Let’s go!

The Mission moves forward with numbers that sound like an opening set at your favorite dive bar. Vocals are stretched and the band hides behind a noisy yet joyful sound. A gig’s a gig, and with the lyrics unclear and notes sliding around back and forth off the time signature, the best you can do right now is play bar dice at the top of your lungs. After a beer relief break, the tone is slower; “Burn Yourself” is almost contemplative, evenly paced and introspective, with just a touch of Zen. A few drinks later, “SSL 83” zooms into the set, sounding like an upbeat surf number filtered through the benign incompetence of an addled network executive’s hind brain. It’s that magic moment when the beer buzz and the band are in perfect sync. You can still walk to the bar without embarrassing yourself, and a game of darts isn’t out of the question yet. “So Fuck it” sums up your attitude and the band is drifting toward a studied dissonance that culminates in the warbling wavering of “Good Cheer.” The opening chords cling to your mind like the Addams Family soundtrack, and then the whole song gets sort of… weird. Not weird like a date with Morticia Addams, but weird like “head spinning around, better drive ‘cuz I’m too drunk to walk” weird. Not that I’m recommending anything here, but by this point you might as well stick around for the last set. It’s got that crowd pleaser, “Slow Faucet” — dirge-like at the beginning, spacey in the middle, and soaring at the end. You’re soaring, too.

Maybe you can crash in the band’s van if you promise not to blow chunks. Nighty night!

Mission of Burma: www.missionofburma.com

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