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Mission of Burma: The Sound, The Speed, The Light

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Mission of Burma has nothing left to prove. The group's first two post-reformation albums, 2004's OnOffOn and '06's brilliant The Obliterati, trump their already timeless '80s output in terms of production, songwriting and girth. The Sound, The Speed, The Light finds the original Boston post-punks playing in top form, but from the onset of “1, 2, 3, Partyy!” it's clear that Burma isn't throwing any surprise punches. “Possession” finds the formula of mangled tapes interfering with the group's signature pop geometry, which perfectly disrupts the song's cognitive flow. “Slow Faucet” and the album's centerpiece “SSL 83” are classic Burma rockers, carrying the post-punk aesthetics and discordant/angelic harmonies to the nth degree. But the album holds no tension whatsoever. MoB has reached cruising altitude and is sailing smoothly, but a little more turbulence might make the ride more exciting. (Matador) 3 stars out of 5

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