ONoffON - Mission of Burma

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    Even more dense and brutal than Burma's early records. [Jun 2004, p.103]
  2. Make no mistake: it may be a good two decades late, but ONoffON is the follow-up that Vs. has always cried out for. And as a result, it’s one of the finest records I’ve heard all year.
  3. Sonic Youth sound like their cover band in comparison.
  4. Though Onoffon doesn't quite top Burma's 1982 masterpiece Vs., it manages to sound like the more-than-worthy follow-up they could have cut a couple years later ... only with two decades of experience and musical detours informing its nooks and crannies.
  5. Shockingly, "ONoffON" is almost on par with that landmark ['Vs.'], clearly the product of the same band operating at top form.
  6. OnOffOn is the aural resurrection of a band that still matters.
  7. What’s surprising about ONoffON is how different it sounds from those previous two records, and yet how well it follows their lead.
  8. Picks up, astonishingly, exactly where the band left off, not exactly retracing old paths but branching off of them into new and exciting vistas.
  9. The album glows white-hot with fury and energy, familiar yet fresh. [#243, p.66]
  10. Abstract, yet brutally honest, Burma shame the transparent, insecure and phony, reminding us that ideals can be standards.
  11. 82
    By staying so true to Burma's superior style 20 years after it was emulated, it lacks the aura of innovation. [#10, p.90]
  12. 80
    A remarkable comeback. [Jun 2004, p.106]
  13. The album doesn't break any new ground for the band, but finds Burma at the top of its game, mixing artful music, intelligent lyrics and controlled sonic mayhem.
  14. MOB have managed to preserve their legacy without tarnishing their origins. [Jun 2004, p.92]
  15. This is the real deal, played by men who haven't lost their edge after a two-decade absence.
  16. These are the songs of men who haven't changed their political opinions or been influenced by a new album since they disbanded. That sentiment makes OnoffON feel like a lost relic in spots rather than a dynamic new album by an underground legend.
  17. Unlike the clean, jagged, self-contained post-punk being revived in New York, Mission Of Burma's art-damaged music rattles and collapses, leaving amazing debris.
  18. MoB trounce obsolescence because their typical peak moment is a flash of hard truth about a situation, a bolt of clarity about action to be taken.
  19. Tense, febrile and messy, but tuneful and cohesive at the same time. [2 May 2004]
  20. 70
    OnOffOn has an incredibly dense, thick sound, and it sags a little in the middle, but Miller can still write terrifically belligerent pop songs. [Jun 2004, p.96]
  21. 70
    Feverish and bruised, dense as chowder, the songs describe danger and alienation in distressed voices. [May 2004, p.128]
  22. This shows they've lost little of their sonic clout. [Jun 2004, p.103]
  23. You wish the band would let some tunefulness creep in, but the dozens of riffs, guitar spills and slogans pack a messy, intelligent punch. [13 May 2004, p.72]
  24. The songs here sound as if the tension built up over such a long spell of lying dormant has been released to thrilling effect.
  25. Burma seems to be playing catch-up after all this time away. [#7]
  26. Maybe if this album had been released in the mid-eighties I’d be falling all over myself to praise it, but these days there’s just too much stuff around that’s surpassed the music here in originality, drive and smarts.

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