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Mission of Burma

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Boston, United States (1979 – 1983, 2002 – present)

Mission of Burma is an American band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1979. The band was formed by Roger Miller (guitar), Clint Conley (bass), Peter Prescott (drums) and Martin Swope (tape manipulator/sound engineer). Miller, Conley and Prescott share singing and songwriting duties. Like many of their post-punk contemporaries, Mission of Burma’s efforts are largely concerned with extending punk’s original vocabulary without losing its essential rebellious spirit. Using rapid shifts in dynamics, unconventional time signatures and chord progressions along with tape effects, Mission of Burma challenges the prevailing idioms of punk while attempting to retain its power and immediacy.

In early years the band’s audience was limited to the Boston area, with all their recordings released on the small Boston-based record label Ace Of Hearts. Despite initial success, Mission of Burma disbanded in 1983 due to Miller’s development of tinnitus caused by the volume of the band’s live performances. The band released only one album in its original form, Vs… Mission of Burma reformed in 2002, with Bob Weston replacing Swope, and has since recorded two more albums, ONoffON and The Obliterati.

Their wall-of-noise musical sound extended the vocabulary of punk while continuing to hold clear its sense of power and abandon. They used a number of tape effects, different chord progressions, and time shifts to highlight their formal training in music.

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