Today is my second attempt at tempo running. Like the weekend long distance runs, this is another aspect of my current run program that I have to begin getting better acclimatized and comfortable with. It’s imperative actually. Yes, the fartlek intervals are improving but I have to begin stretching out those four and two minute intervals into longer, sustainable periods and today is my second go around at that goal. I have chosen then something I little more – shall we say – aggressive, ‘The Obliterati‘ by Mission to Burma.
This album marks the second post reunion album (released in 2006) after calling it quits back in 1983 thanks to Roger Miller’s hearing problems and, likely, the bands most aggressive and physically powerful record they’ve created to date – from the moment ‘2wice’ bursts into my earbuds, this music never stopped exploding like an artfully arranged case of fireworks, and the liberating energy combining the guitar-powered rage of punk with the intelligence and sonic adventure of “art rock”.
Hopefully, this is all going to translate well into a decent workout this afternoon.
Remembering that this was released over ten years ago, much of the album’s fury is clearly motivated by the polarizing policies of the George W. Bush administration, and ‘1001 Pleasant Dreams‘, ‘Nancy Reagan’s Head‘, ‘Period‘, and ‘Spider’s Web‘ find them putting their anger to excellent use.
‘Donna Sumeria‘ and ‘13‘ take a slightly more measured approach, both rise into a glorious peals of noise before they leave the stage. Engineer Bob Weston captures MoB’s high-impact sound with commendable clarity and crunch, and his tape loops and sonic manipulations bring imaginative and effective punctuation to the arrangements. The bands ability to rock out in a smart and ambitious manner without sacrificing their edgy, potent force has consistently made them one of the few bands to fully balance the mind-body equation, and ‘The Obliterati‘ suggests their music has been on a solid workout regimen that would exhaust, say, Henry Rollins, while their brains can keep up without breaking a sweat. Sonic rabble-rousing doesn’t get much better than this.
Apparently, it worked in that today’s 8.01k tempo was a bit better than last week where, instead of about a kajillion failing points I only had, say, half of that. The distance might have been a bit shorter than last week but there was also no real warm up or warm down – just straight up tempo running good enough for an over all average pace of 5:22min/km which is better than what I’ve been able to manage in past weeks. It was also good enough for two 3rd overall best times along the ‘Night Hill‘ (8:38) and the ‘Bernard> Ridge Rd. Tempo‘ (9:05) Strava segments.
The downside is that is was still far from “comfortable”.
But I’ll still take it as a success nonetheless.