Boomkat Product Review:
"Fire Records bring together some of Mission of Burma's best loved tracks in a 2CD deluxe comp Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma, that will herald the label's reissue series of all of the band's output as well as serving as an introduction to the band for the uninitiated. Jumping out of the starting gate with their most explosive and beloved track "Academy Fight Song" and moving chronologically through their back catalogue, the 2 disc package focuses on their early career on disc 1 and moves on to their triumphant comeback after a twenty-two year hiatus on disc 2. Mission of Burma formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1983, after establishing themselves as one of the most progressive, important, and loud bands in American rock. During this period they released just one full-length album Vs as well as several extremely influential singles and their debut EP Signals, Calls, and Marches. They reformed in 2002 to inspire one of the most successful comebacks in punk rock history, picking up precisely where they left off to produce four further astonishing records everything as good, if not better, than their earlier material with ONoffON (2004), The Obliterati (2006), The Sound and Speed of Light (2009) and Unsound (2012). Hailing from Boston, Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott formed the core of the band, with Martin Swope brought in as audio engineer and to add tape loops (Bob Weston from Shellac took over this role after the band reformed). The band signed to the local Ace of Hearts label in 1981 who helped stake their claim as one of the most important bands in American rock. Their live shows achieved legendary status as being some of the loudest, most intense and ear battering concerts on the circuit, although these were to prove their downfall as Miller developed severe tinnitus. Although commercial success seemed to elude them, at the height of their early career Mission of Burma shared stages with the likes of Sonic Youth, Pere Ubu Gang Of Four, Black Flag and other icons of underground rock's golden era. However, the constant strain of tinnitus took it's toll on Roger Miller who had to abandon performing causing the band to split in 1983, seemingly on the brink of critical and commercial acceptance. Following the break-up their musical influence took on mythic form with numerous bands citing Burma's influence by covering them including REM, Moby, Blur's Graham Coxon and Syd Straw, among others. The members pursued other projects including Roger Miller's with Birdsongs of The Mesozoic, The Binary System, Alloy Orchestra and No Man, Clint Conley's Consonant (as well as production duties on Yo La Tengo's first album, Ride The Tiger), and Peter Prescott's Volcano Suns, Kustomized and Peer Group. They reunited in January 2002 for a series of shows that gave way to more shows and eventually to 2004's ONoffON. No one expected them to just keep putting out records following their reunion, let alone records that were every bit as essential and fresh as their seminal early recordings. Their first album 'Vs' is down in the annals of time as being one of the most important post-punk records of all time. Their subsequent recordings have just been expanding on that and- growing in scope, depth and accomplishment with every step. Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma brings a taster of each album together in one place, to not only consolidate their status as one of the most influential and exciting bands to have emerged from the post-punk era but also as one of the most current, vital and challenging bands working today"