Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Volcano Suns

  • The Bright Orange Years [Homestead, 1986] B+
  • Bumper Crop [Homestead, 1987] B-
  • Farced [SST, 1988] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Bright Orange Years [Homestead, 1986]
First side's got everything an insatiable Mission of Burma (or Hüsker Dü) fan could ask except Richard Harte's production, which might do justice to the band's command of detail. In fact, it makes me wish MOB had let drummer-vocalist Peter Prescott, who does most of the songwriting here, do most of the songwriting there as well. Second side's more clamorous, which these days is just another way of saying conventional. B+

Bumper Crop [Homestead, 1987]
The record's a little too dirgy-anthemic to review, but the press release is worth quoting: "The current lineup continues the mixture of surreal lunacy and singalong pop sludge that have already won them a spot in the hearts of many unemployed people on drugs." B-

Farced [SST, 1988]
Finally an album that captures the half of Mission of Burma who didn't turn to chamber music--the half that's half joke band--in all their half-assed glory. As in "Commune," about the hippies they never wert. Or "Can I Have the Key?," about the medicine cabinet. Or "Laff Riot," about a bassline. B+