When this Boston post-punk outfit reunited in 2002 after nearly two decades, observers didn't hold their breath in anticipation of what maturity had done to Mission of Burma's sound. After all, guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott sounded mature right out of the gate, outfitting their tough power-trio blare with art-rock fillips and mixing in real-time tape manipulations by fourth member Martin Swope years before sampling became pop's lingua franca. So the gratifying thing about 2004's ONoffON--Burma's second-ever full-length--wasn't that they still sounded sophisticated; it was that they still sounded like a bag of cats fighting to get inside a can of tuna.
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The energy courses even higher through the accurately titled The Obliterati. Recorded like ONoffON in Boston by Shellac's Bob Weston (who now holds Swope's spot), the album throbs with raw, fuzzy fury--the sort fueled by the anti-establishment sentiments Burma voiced when they played in front of a placard reading NO NEW MCCARTHY ERA on tour in 2002. Age asserts itself in what might be a greater melodic presence here, particularly in the cuts by Conley, who's also been playing lately in Consonant alongside members of Bedhead and Silkworm. But that's hardly a concession.