Burning Airlines - Mission: Control! (Cover Artwork)

Burning Airlines

Mission: Control! (1999)


Among several other things, Burning Airlines' debut is jagged, smooth, in your face, swirling around your head, cold, and warm all at once. It's a record with instrumentation and lyrics that can stand alone in their own rights, but when coupled with one another are simply undeniable.

"Carnival" introduces the band with a flurry of curveballs, as the heaviest riffage on the record leads the way into a relatively laid back verse with clever melody, setting the stage for a spiraling chorus that echoes its words: "I'm finding my own way around our carnivalesque common ground. When are the tents coming down?"

Mission: Control! boasts some very tight bass and drum interplay. "The Escape Engine" has verses with a feel equivalent to that of a bumpy road, while "Flood of Foreign Capital" makes it sound like the world is ending beneath the most minimalist of guitar lines. Additionally, the guitars on this record are very inventive and fresh. They're spastic in "Crowned," wet with effects in "3 Sisters," straightforward in "Wheaton Calling," and virtually all of the aforementioned in "I Sold Myself In," making it a fitting closer.

Burning Airlines have crafted a record that works on so many levels. Mission: Control! sets the bar very high in terms of both lyricism and musicianship and marries the two with only the finest of melodies.