The Mission of Burma reunion is over, and its second run as a working, creative band has begun. The Boston-formed post-punk band launched a national tour for its stunning third album, ``The Obliterati," with two Massachusetts shows this month: at Mass MoCA on July 1, and at the Paradise on Thursday night.
If the astoundingly solid and artful sold-out show at the Paradise was anything to go by, Burma is now far removed from the nostalgia circuit. This is real. This is art. This is now.
Bob Weston helmed a powerful and clear sound mix, which he subtly manipulated and tweaked with background tape loops. Guitarist Roger Miller (without customary ear protection), bassist Clint Conley, and drummer Peter Prescott pounded through two hour long sets that mixed the old with the new -- the lines between those ever more blurred -- to reveal an impressive body of work, built over 25 years.
New songs, such as ``Donna Sumeria," with its burbling guitars and driving beats, the slash and burn of ``Spider's Web," and the catchy snap of ``2wice," were monumental. Even Burma's signature anthem ``That's When I Reach for My Revolver" was utterly vital. Conley's voice was strong and firmly behind those lyrics of dissatisfaction once more.
During the encore Burma laid out Pink Floyd's trippy ``Astronomy Domine" in tribute to the late Syd Barrett.
Math-rockers Neptune and newcomers Hooray for Earth both performed admirable opening sets, but this was clearly Burma's night.