The fact is, I missed Massachusetts legends Mission of Burma’s sold out show at Club Cafe last month. It’s shocking considering this band was introduced to me at a very critical time concerning my shifting tastes in musical obsessions. Late 2001, my sophomore year in high school had already been rattled by the biggest tragedy of my generation, when all of the sudden the obscure jam bands, Dave Matthews bootlegs and large doses of Led Zeppelin no longer seemed to strike an emotional chord. It was on the eve of the “The” bands explosion, when a friend of mine slipped me a copy of Burma’s seminal EP Signals, Calls and Marches.
I listened to “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” on my discman as I left school that day, walking down the hill of Cochran Ave from Mt Lebanon High School. I’ll spare you the hyperbole by simply saying one thing: I had changed by the time that song ended. In terms of crystallizing the disillusion and resultant rage that filled the months following 9/11, I don’t think there could have been a more poignant song to listen to at that exact moment.
What the video for “1,2,3 Partyy!” gives us is nothing less than a shotgun blast of the band’s heyday, complete with cut up montages of Burma tearing it down circa 1981 (complete with Roger Miller earmuffs) spliced with artsy shots of bad asses doing their thing. The track itself had already startled me by its direct connection with burners like “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate” and “Fame and Fortune,” and now the video pulls no punches when referencing the band’s yesteryear. It’s fascinating to see such an influential underground band still pumping out swift kicks to the head after 30 years.