Oh, the magical salve of Masters of the Obvious. At its essence, M.O.T.O. has two basic modes. Ultra catchy, low-fi power pop and ultra catchy children’s songs for adults. Hooks as sneaky and barbed as the Jam’s. Stealth bomb melodies that rival the Beatles. I can’t say if Single File is as essential as the Buzzcocks’ Singles Going Steady, but it’s real fuckin’ close. Think of bubble gum left on a hot sidewalk and your ear as the bottom of a shoe. It’s almost impossible for these songs not to stick, no matter how hard to you try to rub them off. This collection is the ultimate comp tape of M.O.T.O.’s widely scattered bests from tapes, 7”s, imports, and out-of-print gems over the past twenty years. Even if haven’t heard one of these songs before popping this CD in, you’ll be singing “Crystallize My Penis” in the grocery store, or “I’m Infected” when you’re holding up a bank, in no time. It’s not an anorexic collection, either, and totals a beefy twenty-eight tracks. Essential listening.
–todd (Criminal I.Q.)