M.O.T.O.: Chinese Rocks (Or a Fistful of Maobacks): LP

Paul Caporino is more than the Master of the Obvious: He’s the Pop Prince of Playful Punk and the Shaman of Silly. (Need proof? Look no further than “Magic Words,” which has ricocheted in my head endlessly since the first time I heard it. Trust me. It’ll take residence inside of your skull.) He’s one of the hardest working songwriters in punk as he has been cutting gems for over three decades. However, in all that time, Caporino has remained a cult icon for garage punk connoisseurs; he’s well overdue for world domination. On Chinese Rocks, M.O.T.O. adds fourteen more irreverent jams, all of which were recorded in Shanghai, to their already extensive back catalog. Highlights include “Get the Message” with its sweet vocal harmony, which softens Caporino’s typically rambunctious yelp, accompanied by a pogo-inducing guitar hook. “Anxiety Comes and Goes” is an introspective sizzler with moody chords and Caporino singing, “You wanna seize the day in your head / The day is seizing you instead.” Shortly after, “Crystallize My Penis” exchanges self-examination for a callus-forming guitar solo and unabashed goofiness. On “Riding on a Bullet Train,” Caporino prophetically declares, “No one understands me here, so I feel right at home,” as if to acknowledge his cult status. Oh, if only more folks could get hip to M.O.T.O., then the world just might be a slightly cooler place. If only… 

 –Sean Arenas (Secret Mission)