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Signals, Calls and Marches (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

In 1980, “Academy Fight Song,” a single by unknown band Mission of Burma, burst onto the Boston scene, giving an intellectual spark to the ground level post-punk revolution with its shards of guitars spinning out in military precision and vocalist Clint Conley shouting: “I’m not not not not not not ... your academy!” In 1981, the EP Signals, Calls and Marches followed, and “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver” and “This is Not a Photograph” hit the same sweet spot as “Academy.” The ebb and flow of “Red,” the guitars-gone-wild on “Outlaw,” and the sweeping “All World Cowboy Romance” were further proof of M.O.B.’s genius. Roger Miller’s guitar maneuvers had evolved into massively aggressive forms, while Conley’s bass and Peter Prescott’s drums provided solid ground beneath the vortex. Martin Swope created a fourth instrument in the way of textures, loops and flow, and encouraged the band’s affection for extreme volume. In 2008, Matador Records reissued the EP, along with both sides of the “Academy” single plus two previously unreleased studio tracks, “Devotion” and “Execution.” The tracks were remastered from the original analog tapes by producer and Ace of Hearts Records (M.O.B.’s original home) head Rick Harte.

Customer Reviews

Can't beat the original

With many bands doing the frantic, herky-jerky indie rock thing now, it's sometimes telling to go back to the source. For some of these bands, it's Mission of Burma from Boston. This is a long-overdue reissue of their debut EP, plus bonus singles 8-10. Guitar and bass interlock in exciting, at-the-time new ways, while the drummer pounds crazily but in control. Songs 1, 5 and 8 are flat-out classics and should've been huge at the time. Seriously - if you like any modern indie music, you should listen to this and give it a shot.

Oh my god

Thank you, iTunes, and even more importantly, Matador for rereleasing Mission of Burma's material. My favorite band of all time went unrecognized during their writing period but are now big in the underground art punk scene. You can't go wrong with simplistic riffs, politically charged lyrics and most importantly, a unique voice. The best EP ever, and I'm not afraid to say it.


im not even into the punk scene all that much and im obsessed with this cd. great guitar and rythm singers voice is kinda flat but im still intrigued for some reason. academy fight song is the bestest track on this compast diskette well worth your time


Formed: 1980 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '00s, '10s

Of all the punk-inspired bands that came out of Boston in the early '80s, none were better than Mission of Burma. Arty without being too pretentious, capable of writing gripping songs and playing with ferocious intensity, guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley, drummer Peter Prescott, and tape head Martin Swope galvanized the city's alternative rock scene, and despite a too-short existence, set a standard for excellence that has rarely been equalled -- a standard the band upheld when they unexpectedly...
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