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ONoffON Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: This 16-track disc (complete with a brief intermission between 'sets') marks the first studio recording in a whopping 22 years for the Boston-based trio of Roger Miller (guitar, vocals), Clint Conley (bass, vocals) and Peter Prescott (drums, vocals), with production by Bob Weston and RickThis 16-track disc (complete with a brief intermission between 'sets') marks the first studio recording in a whopping 22 years for the Boston-based trio of Roger Miller (guitar, vocals), Clint Conley (bass, vocals) and Peter Prescott (drums, vocals), with production by Bob Weston and Rick Harte and additional instrumentation on two tracks by the band Rachel's. Expand
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. The album glows white-hot with fury and energy, familiar yet fresh. [#243, p.66]
  3. Shockingly, "ONoffON" is almost on par with that landmark ['Vs.'], clearly the product of the same band operating at top form.
  4. 80
    A remarkable comeback. [Jun 2004, p.106]
  5. This is the real deal, played by men who haven't lost their edge after a two-decade absence.
  6. The songs here sound as if the tension built up over such a long spell of lying dormant has been released to thrilling effect.
  7. Burma seems to be playing catch-up after all this time away. [#7]

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Will
    Jul 1, 2004
    10
    I always thought Burma were not a little influenced by Hendrix (Don't tell me that "eyes of men" was not informed" by "love or I always thought Burma were not a little influenced by Hendrix (Don't tell me that "eyes of men" was not informed" by "love or confusion"). Miller's playing on this record hit me like a chtonic meld of Jimi's heavy rhythm work and feedback --similarly thick, syncopated. Similarly Conley's bass playing seems similarly informed by Hendrix's playing, with his lushly melodic chording, hammered _on off on_ harmolodicism. Prescott often sounds like a less busy, more angular Mitchell. _OnoffOn_ it is a great album. I haven't heard anything with this much varied greatness in a while. When listening to 'falling' I can't stop thinking of the jumpers from the top of the burning trade towers ("tallest building", "heard you calling", etc.); I also remember hearing something about T. Donnelly --whose backups are tender and beautiful-- falling off a bike as a kid and breaking some teeth. Not naming any more individual sounds, or citing sources --all too easy--, I will say the chemistry is almost too good between the three musicians. It's refreshing to hear each of them sing alternately alone and in unison. BTW the Weston's production is unobtrusive, yet brings the sound a fullness like a thick lager, not quite an ale --perfect. I still can't tell when it's fake blood, and can't wait to land, but who can? Expand
  2. chrisg
    May 11, 2004
    10
    Westy done good. Since Burma ended, Rog, Peter, and Clint have gone in numerous different directions and explored all their musical desires. Westy done good. Since Burma ended, Rog, Peter, and Clint have gone in numerous different directions and explored all their musical desires. To have their paths intersect now, in this record, and to have the result sound pretty much like what the 2nd record would have sounded like in 1983, is astounding. Roger's ability to take a melody and explode it with noise has probably been enhanced by his work in the last 20 years, but he doesn't overdo it here, remembering that he's the guitar player in a rock band. Clint's sweet tunes and one-measure bass solos have not diminished at all and remain my favorite part of Burma. Pete, back behind the drums, has benefitted from the years as well, finding a new confidence and looseness in his playing. Of the three, Pete seems to have changed the most. His Volcano Suns years have given him a confidence in his songwriting that did not manifest during Burma's previous life. His songs and voice are the most distictive here, and sometimes this record sounds like 3 Suns songs wrapped in a Burma record, albeit the Suns with the best guitar player they ever had. With that said, Pete's songs are among my favorites here, especially "The Enthusiast". I could go on and on, but the point is, as many others have said: this record manages to blow away most of the loud guitar rock from the last 15 years, and sound fresh and new, while still sounding like Burma. Oooh and Bob - having been handed an opportunity to record the most important record in a long time, you have done a masterful job of capturing the band as they are. This record doesn't jump out at me like Vs, but it still has a sparkle and an energy and a simplicity, despite the sonic din, that makes it an honest document, which is all I could ask for. Bob: nice work. And I know how much this project meant to you. Congratulations Gerard: you finally got to put out a Burma record! And it's a good one! Expand
  3. PatrickT
    May 21, 2004
    10
    MOB leads me to think of convoy after convoy racing for a bottleneck where only one single unit may emerge victorious. left behind is the MOB leads me to think of convoy after convoy racing for a bottleneck where only one single unit may emerge victorious. left behind is the wreckage, both metallic and vaporous, a roadblock to the uninspired who reside in fast and trash culture of today's consumerism. Expand
  4. markf
    May 6, 2004
    9
    First off, I know this is probably tired, but I'd call this "Pure Punk for Now People." When I heard that MOB was releasing a new album, First off, I know this is probably tired, but I'd call this "Pure Punk for Now People." When I heard that MOB was releasing a new album, I went back and listened to my vinyl copy of 1982's "VS" several times before I got this new one. The thing I noticed right on the first song, "The Setup", was that it sounded exactly like a missing single off of "VS". There are some changeups though, as you might expect from a 22-year-old recording layoff. There are more songs with traditional pop structures, my favorites being "Nicotine Bomb" and "Dirt." The track that ends "Side 1", "Prepared", sounds like a very quiet, late 80s REM opus with rock's newfound favorite instrument, the cello(!),along for the ride. But don't worry, there's an extremely high quota of thrashers, many which remind me of Husker Du. Of course, nobody ripped anybody off, but MOB started before the Du. This makes most of what passes for kick-ass music seem anemic, especially considering their political concerns blow away most bands' (but most listeners will be too obsessed with the musical onslaught to get it.) Now I can't wait for McLusky's new album May 18. Expand
  5. FrankR
    Jul 1, 2005
    9
    amazing
  6. Xyloplaxmedusiformis
    May 21, 2004
    8
    Nothing will equal the blinding historical originality of VS., but this is an excellent album, with a greater range of tones than their Nothing will equal the blinding historical originality of VS., but this is an excellent album, with a greater range of tones than their earlier stuff. Too bad most of the other bands out there are so idea-deprived that these cats come back 22 years later and are the best sounding album around. Collapse
  7. Perry
    Sep 9, 2004
    6
    Would this CD be so highly rated if it were from a band noone had heard of before? The best tracks are the old ones (which don't sound Would this CD be so highly rated if it were from a band noone had heard of before? The best tracks are the old ones (which don't sound that much different from the demo and live versions - particularly "Playland"), the Conley compositions, and "Into the Fire" (which I like a lot but it still makes me want to turn it off and listen to "Red" from the "Signals" EP). Expand