Love and Affliction (Fenway)

SXSW Records


Love and Affliction (Fenway) Consonant is another chapter in the amazing Mission of Burma comeback. Clint Conley, the band's bassist and author of anthems "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and "Academy Fight Song," retired from music for a career as a television producer shortly after the band's 1983 demise. Months before Mission of Burma first reunited in early 2002, Conley started writing songs again, recruiting an all-star supporting cast. Featuring Come guitarist Chris Brokaw and drummer Matt Kadane of Bedhead and the New Year on drums, Love and Affliction is Consonant's second album for Boston's Fenway Recordings. Lighter and more introspective than the confrontational Burma, Conley delegates Consonant's lyrical chores to poet Holly Anderson. Conley's airy vocals weave eddies of literate introspection, but Burma's jagged, unpredictable fire still seeps to the surface. Love and Affliction is also full of the dense chord clusters Brokaw brought to Come, evident on grinding opener "Little Murders." "Dumb Joy" oscillates between hypnotic dream pop and a visceral toe-tapper similar to Bedhead and the New Year's more upbeat fare. Add a final, riff-heavy climax, and voilà!, the link between the early-Eighties Boston idols and mid-Nineties Dallas/Austin idols Bedhead sinks in. Surprises like the rockabilly "Night for Love" and up-tempo Television-like rocker "Are You Done?" abound. Closer "Blue Story" is frighteningly sludgy, with a fingernails-on-chalkboard sound layered on top of the last two minutes, reminiscent of Martin Swope's sound-layering jobs in Burma – only more abrasive. (Saturday, March 20, 11pm @ Club DeVille)


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