ALBUM REVIEW – as written for the Jackson Hole Weekly.
Release date: July 9, 2012
Boston’s Mission of Burma released one album, “Vs.,” in the throws of three glorious post-punk years of stardom before singer-guitarist Roger Millier developed tinnitus, forcing the group to disband in 1983. MOB regrouped in 2002 and, in a against-the-tide move, started churning out successful albums. “Unsound” is the fourth LP they’ve released since 2004.
“Unsound” manages to ring in with the same recognizable feel that made the band what they were in the ’80’s, but it is definitively more progressive than all of their before-tread musical ground. “Unsound” is a heedless dedication to improvisational territory, as tracks like “Fell à H2O” seem less like songs and more like recorded performance art shared inside of a “try and follow this” invitation. The structure is there, but it’s not served up on a platter. “ADD in Unison” is built around a visceral, driving bass line, opening up into trumpets backing bar-microphone vocals, and “7’s” is the only real melody anthem track on the album.
Conclusion: “Unsound” is solid, but it flies above the un-tuned listener’s ear. If you find yourself ready, however, for a trip down good ole’ post-post-punk-revival improvisational bends, “Unsound” sits waiting to meet your fancy.