Dave Simpson 

Mission of Burma: Unsound – review

These influential Boston art-rockers are enjoying a creative purple patch more than 30 years after they first formed, writes Dave Simpson
  
  

Boston art-noise outfit Mission of Burma only managed one critically lauded album before splitting up when singer-guitarist Roger Miller developed tinnitus. However, since reactivating in 2002, they have quadrupled their back catalogue, displaying just why they've been cited as an influence by acts as diverse as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Moby and Graham Coxon. This exuberant fifth album again shows they're still a force to be reckoned with, while stretching their tuneful, time-signature-shifting style ever further. Running the gamut from Gang of Four-style jerky, punky funk to grunge to Pere Ubu/Van Der Graaf Generator's controlled chaos, each song is packed with hooks, tunes and a sense of untamed glee. Riffs collide into each other; choruses invite you to sing along; some lyrics ("This is hi-fi!" "Forget what you know!") are shouted out over the melodic cacophony to double the effect. "No time! To reflect!" in particular could be a manifesto. They are certainly a band making the most of their extra time.