Matador - 2004 - 56 minutes

It's ironic that a band as important as Mission of Burma came to wider public attention, years after they split, through a cover of one of their own songs. Moby's take on the classic 'That's When I Reach for My Revolver' was a fitting tribute but, in a perfect world, it should be backed up by thousands more.

Since Mission's split in 1983, their influence has reverberated through countless bands worldwide and they are one of those outfits whose music is crucial to a particular era but also remains timeless.

The reason for their break-up over 20 years ago was singer-guitarist Roger Miller's tinnitus, so their reunion for 'OnoffOn' suggests either remarkable advances in dealing with the condition, unfinished business or maybe a bit of both.

It's a compliment to say that this album sounds like it should've come out in 1984. The years have done little to dull the edge of Miller and bandmates Clint Conley and Peter Prescott's edgy, angular rock, with new fans set to respond with the same passion as diehards to 'The Setup', 'Falling' and 'Max Ernst's Dream'.

And if 'OnoffOn' sometimes lives up to its title, playing a little too long and dragging towards the close, that's a small price to pay for having them back.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: The Setup - Hunt Again - The Enthusiast - Falling - What We Really Were - Max Ernst's Dream - Fake Blood - Prepared - Wounded World - Dirt - Into the Fire - Fever Moon - Nicotine Bomb - Playland - Absent Mind