Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mission Of Burma - vs. (1982)

Back in the day, the Mission Of Burma's VS had few equals.

"Secrets" is a post-punk blazing star, which steals the manic energy from hardcore. The bouncy "Train" betrays the influence of the Gang Of Four, but the structure borrows from progressive-rock as well. The phosphorescent march "Trem Two" shows that they've listened to Martin Hannett's productions (think Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades"), while the discordant guitar-patterns in "New Nails" owe a lot to the MX-80 Sound. "Dead Pool" reinterpretes the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" through the elaborate structures of progressive-rock, and the neurosis of the post-punk climate.

Like an avalanche, "Learn How" bulldozes everything in it's way, while the guitar displays pure mania in it's staccato noise fabric. "Mica" adds an anthemic progression, and "Weatherbox" adds vibrant concrete electronics. The catastrophic intensity of "Ballad Of Johnny Burma" is also increased by a spastic middle-section. Nevertheless, the geometric structure of these spasms proves just how influential the Burma were to the math-rock movement. The elegant "Einstein's Day" bridges the most dream-like acid-rock, post-punk and hardcore. Ditto for the guitar-solo in "Fun World" (whose basis is an industrial boogie) which is mesmerizing.

Simply put, a masterpiece. Get it here.

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