Friday, December 2, 2011
Mission of Burma
Boston's Mission of Burma was involved in this underground structure early on, forming in 1979. Since this whole "post-punk" (referring to the second punk wave) thing was new, Burma never got the support system that many other indie bands had access to later in the decade. The band did have three things going for them though; the hometown Boston locals loved them, all members were great with the press, and they put on insane live shows. Still, the general populous wasn't quite ready to accept Burma's originality. Experimenting between a mix of artsy-pop and punk, they were being overshadowed by the popularity of hardcore, which garnered most of the attention. Moreover, without proper distribution it was difficult for the band to expand beyond Boston. To put it into perspective, when they toured outside of the city as little as 2 or 3 people would show up at times. In 1981 they recorded their Signals, Calls, and Marches EP debut, a release that attempted to deliver a more universally pleasing sound. Later in time its mastery would be fully appreciated, but at it's release date it could only be considered a moderate success. The pattern of taut yet subdued verses leading into an explosive sound for the chorus in the opener "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" would be met with much more recognition for The Pixies, who we all know were the inspiration for Nirvana and one of the most acclaimed songs of all-time, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"....they were just a few years too early. And when Burma sent Signals, Calls, and Marches to a major label, they responded with a note that promptly rejected them. One of post-punk's landmark EPs had just been passed up. Luckily in the present day we can celebrate the EP's achievements, a collection of unconventional tracks that exhibited Mission of Burma's smoother personality and helped foster punk's growing fan base. Ok you can breathe now! This post is finally over. Check out the grand instrumental "All World Cowboy Romance" and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" below.
All World Cowboy Romance
That's When I Reach For My Revolver