Music » CD Reviews

CD Review: Mission of Burma

The Sound, the Speed, the Light (Matador)

comment

Is it possible for a band to have a sophomore slump halfway through the third album its second time around? That seems to be the case with Mission of Burma. But the concept of a slump may be relative, since this album merely falls short of brilliance. But The Sound, the Speed, the Light is still amazingly solid; it just doesn't quite measure up to the rest of the band's legacy. The punchy immediacy of "1, 2, 3, Partyy!" starts the album with an insistent cadence that ratchets up and then throttles back — like it's trying to throw listeners out of their headphones.

"Possession" features a trippingly syncopated beat and sinewy bass line, with a slippery lead guitar twisting around everything but a melody (which is carried in the vocal harmony). "Blunder" sounds like its title, its beat staggering around like a guy who's taken way too many hits to the head, with chunky vocals to match. But then, Sound's spark flickers, yielding to songs that could be Burma b-sides — perfectly executed but lacking in intensity. Still, many of these songs are full of crunch, power and the all-time classic Burma combo: sharp wit and sonic bombast. — Nicholas Hall

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.