The true mark of off-kilter pop music with punk intentions is that it’ll implant the seed and before you catch yourself, you’ll be screaming the dumbest shit at the top of your lungs or at the most inappropriate times. Just listen to “I Hate My Fucking Job” and not have the notes leap into your brain like hantavirus. Masters of the Obvious take a brave ear – if you’ve never heard of them before – and the requirement that you’ve got a sense of humor about song structures. Kill M.O.T.O.’s equal parts guy-on-cardboard-asking-for-change (the last song, in particular), the on-par brilliance that people claim the Beach Boys have (I still haven’t been convinced of Brian Wilson’s contribution to music), a sweaty leather jacket, and balls as big as King Kong’s. Hits are plentiful on this one, but out of the seventeen tracks, my favorites have to be “The Chicks Can Tell,” (“I’m chucking off photons, neutrons, hard ons/ the chicks can tell.”) the aforementioned “I Hate My Fucking Job,” and “We Are the Rats.” All are on par with the best of M.O.T.O., “Crystallize My Penis” included. M.O.T.O. does a great job of reminding us that senses of humor are as invaluable as beer and air.
–todd (Criminal I.Q.)