Mission of Burma, Peking Spring

Greg Milner

By Greg Milner

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Like many of the greats, Mission of Burma's tenure on this earth was much too short. Peking Spring, originally released on cassette in 1985, two years after Burma's demise, is mostly comprised of demos intended for the legendary post-punkers 'never-recorded second album (third if you count their debut EP, Signals, Calls and Marches). As such, it has a slap-dash feel to it — but better half-finished Burma than no Burma at all. "Peking Spring," a bracing blast of whiplash rhythms, guitar heroics and spy-game paranoia lyrics, might have been the crossover hit Burma never had with "Academy Fight Song" or "That's Why I Reach for My Revolver." "Go Fun Burn Man" was Burma's witty take on the burgeoning American hardcore movement; "Dumbells," their greatest song title, is also one of guitarist Roger Miller's finest moments; "Nu Disco" is self-explanatory. Burma amicably disbanded in 1983 but this sketchy but galvanic document provides plenty of evidence that they were just hitting their stride.