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Record Reviews

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M SECTION:
M Section Vs the Immortal Jellyfish: CD
This four-piece band from Santa Rosa have an affinity for dressing up as luchadors and have released a twelve-track CD that absolutely shreds. Every moment in this album is concentrated intensity from all aspects. Reminiscent ofPunk in Drublic-era NOFX. They’re a lot more thrashy and gritty than their predecessor but not afraid to try different things and creatively experiment with their sound. These guys are closer to Propagandhi when they started to sound more metal. Most songs are an all-out assault on your ear drums with face-melting speed, but they also take time out for well-placed solos and break downs, but even those tempo changes are brief. The vocals are gruff and filled with a drunken-like rage likely to incite many a circle pit. Subject matters vary between politics and humor: from hating on bullshit squatter Occupy “protesters,” to Bigfoot’s dick, to the West Memphis Three, to their love of BLTs. Expect everything all at once and you’ll still be surprised. –Kayla Greet (Self-released)


M SECTION:
Eat Your Feelings: 7”
This four piece from Santa Rosa have followed up their 2013 full-length (Vs. The Immortal Jellyfish) with a killer five-song EP. While they do wear Mexican luchador masks as a signature move, these dudes are certainly not wrestling with their instruments.Eat Your Feelings checks in heavier than their last release with dirtier production, and it’s somehow more metal. While one guitar just shreds riffs like paper in an office appliance, the other wails with whammy-induced solos. The drumming of M Section is super intense and fast—but not overbearing—and the bass keeps pace really well. Songs are introspective, smart, and have a “coming of age” sense to them. In their song “The Bills,” they cover an alternative idea of success that isn’t defined monetarily. With lyrics like “This one goes out to the ones that work to live / Job titles don’t define us, we’ve got so much more to give,” I’m confronted with issues that I can absolutely relate to. The track “Mirror of Confusion” looks at themes of glossing over depression / mental blocks just to carry on day to day, instead of tackling these beasts head on. All of these topics are presented skillfully in concise AABB rhyming patterns, spat out with a punk snarl, and resonated with intense hardcore breakdowns. Definitely a refreshing response to their full-length release. It’s really nice to watch a band grow like this. –Kayla Greet (Dump Truck / Sweet Lodge)


M-16:
Canciones Escritas en el Exilio: CD
Imagine Puya with half the talent and none of the salsa influence. –jimmy (Mother West)


M.F. LUNCH AND THE LITTLE COTTON WOOLIES:
Self-titled: CD
A man and his acoustic guitar (occasionally joined by a friend or two) sing about insects with human hands. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/mflunch)


M.F.D.:
Full Volume: LP
Really cool story behind this one. John from Acme Records/Out Cold got in touch with the band about reissuing this record only to find out that they still had many copies left from the original pressing. So, Acme picked up the remaining sealed records from the original pressing and they are selling them to turn people on to an overlooked gem. Awesome simple songs that are the perfect sound of punk meeting hardcore. A lotta these songs have a very definite Zero Boys quality to them, which is the highest praise I can give. Some cool Freeze/Descendents style melodic punk leanings here as well. Produced by Tom Lyle from Government Issue, who also plays guitar. Some guitar from Keith Campbell from Black Market Baby as well. Their first record, Music for the Deaf is a great punk record too. This band were about a million times better than most of the ‘87-‘88 punk bands. A great, overlooked piece of the D.C. Hardcore puzzle. Check it out! –frame (Acme/DSI)


M.O.R.A.:
Self-titled: CD
Finnish metal “hardcore” with lots of chugga-chugga riffs, gallop-speed tempos, and dual vocals with cadences that belie a hip hop influence. Way too derivative and faceless, but I imagine if I was an angry, bored as fuck nine-year-old circa 2012 with no sense of history and the fact that there’s been at two decades of stuff that not only sounds exactly like this, but has too often been done much better, I’d probably be sympathetic to it. –jimmy (mora09hc@gmail.com)


M.O.R.A.:
Halveksunnan Aika: CDEP
Some Finns drown their hardcore in metal. Not bad, not stunning, not really my bag.  –jimmy (M.O.R.A.)


M.O.T.O.:
El Stop b/w She’s Gone Nuts: 7"
What do the Seeds, Dr. Demento, Roky Erickson, hoboes, and the Beach Boys have in common? How the fuck should I know, but I bet Paul Caporino does. How can songs be so instantly catchy, crackle-poppy, infinitely weird, yet singable and raw; like if the Beatles never made enough money to pay their mortgages, but just kept plugging away in near-obscurity and sung about their sex drives blatantly? How the fuck should I know, but Paul Caporino, the mastermind of this twenty plus year-long outfit, does. Almost too good. Well worth picking up. –todd (Baby Killer)


M.O.T.O.:
El Stop b/w She’s Gone: 7"
What do the Seeds, Dr. Demento, Roky Erickson, hoboes, and the Beach Boys have in common? How the fuck should I know, but I bet Paul Caporino does. How can songs be so instantly catchy, crackle-poppy, infinitely weird, yet singable and raw; like if the Beatles never made enough money to pay their mortgages, but just kept plugging away in near-obscurity and sung about their sex drives blatantly? How the fuck should I know, but Paul Caporino, the mastermind of this twenty plus year-long outfit, does. Almost too good. Well worth picking up. –todd (Baby Killer)


M.O.T.O.:
Self-Titled: 7"
Some people who are retarded have incredible strength. I don’t know if the mastermind behind M.O.T.O., Paul Caporino, collects checks from the state, but I do know this: you try being this stupid and so fucking catchy for over twenty years and see how it pans out for you. For M.O.T.O., it’s four more songs of brilliant stupidity, complete with drum machine, fuzzed-out, in-the-red-voiced cracked pop; songs that stick to your brain like hot bubblegum on a summer sidewalk that’ll have you muttering the most inane stuff when waiting in line at the grocery store. Yeah, real nice. –todd (Boom Chick)


M.O.T.O.:
Turn Your Head and Cough: LP
Reason Todd Taylor has a well-deserved spot in my “Hallowed Halls of People Who Are Infinitely Cool” number #1,697: He introduced me to the charms of M.O.T.O., way back when we was both writing for Flipside. To paraphrase Renee Zellweger, they had me at “Dick About It,” the very first song Todd played, and that initial spin has resulted in “Dance Dance Dance to the Radio” being one of my all-time songs with only two chords in it. Dunno where this album fits into their pantheon (by the demo-quality sound of it, I’m guessin’ pretty early on), but it has all the things that makes their stuff so cool—strong hooks, smart aleck pop music references, and a lack of self-importance that cuts low the posturing and vaults up the rockin’. You want pop punk like the Queers, or Blink 182 or whoever else is the big shit this week? Fuck that. These guys are much, much better. –jimmy (ladykinkykarrot@yahoo.com)


M.O.T.O.:
Single File: CD

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.)


M.O.T.O.:
Single File: CD
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.)


M.O.T.O.:
Kissing All the Wrong Asses: 7"
M.O.T.O.’s Paul Caporino has put in several lifetimes as a musician. By default, punk’s claimed him (which he seems ambivalent to, at best). Any way it’s sliced as music (not commerce), it’s a victory for both artist and audience. Huge, catchy guitar riffs—think Kinks, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, T Rex—but not as cock-and-balls wagging. More outsider. More weirdo. Not ironically. Not as a come-on. But as someone who’s unsure of how to act in society aside from making amazingly catchy songs that could become national anthems of disenfranchisement. I like how M.O.T.O. songs vibrate, like you’re hearing two things simultaneously, so it’s always a bit off and totally on. This EP’s as good as any in Paul’s extensive catalog. –todd (Windian)


M.O.T.O.:
Bolt!: LP
The first time i saw MOTO they were playing in a Chicago record store on some Independence Day or another, and, after making my way to the merch zone, i was absolutely gobsmacked by what i saw: Dozens and dozens—for all i knew, hundreds and hundreds—of different MOTO CD-R’s for sale. A fucking ocean of hand-lettered song-titles, crudely scrawled illustrations, and slimline jewel cases. MOTO songs, twenty at a crack, as far as the eye could see, in what might as well have been an infinite recursion. I was paralyzed. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what to buy first. My brain shut down; i wound up not buying anything and spending all my money on Old Style® at Wrigley Field. Paul Caporino has written and recorded a fuck-ton of songs. A FUCKING FUCK-TON! I’d say the guy is legitimately up there with über-prolific street crazies like Daniel Johnston or Wesley Willis in terms of sheer volume of output, and the appellation of “the punk rock Guided By Voices” isn’t that far from the mark. This particular album is a re-issue of a twenty-song 1986 cassette, and is a stone hoot from start to finish. In addition to supplying the well-known “Dick about It” and “Month of Sundays,” “Bolt!” also houses a spate of equally mind-blowingly offbeat punky-poppy obscurities, like “Catholic World” “Destroy the Earth” “Killer Shrews” “Sickle Cell Express” and “Buckingham.” “Sickle Cell Express” is particularly amazing, in that if you woulda blindfolded me and asked me what year in which i imagined that song to be recorded, i would’ve said “1967, and probably on one of those ‘Boulders’ records!”, at least until it got to the part about Frank Sinatra shaving off his pubic hair. If you would have perpetrated the same schtick with “Buckingham,” i would have said “1971,” and, absent any references to the Chairman of the Board’s manscaping, would never have been the wiser. CONSUMERS!!! PARALYZE NO FURTHER!!! IF YOU ONLY BUY THIRTY MOTO RECORDS THIS MONTH, MAKE THIS ONE OF THEM!!! BEST SONG: “Sickle Cell Express” BEST SONG TITLE: “Walk Don’t Walk” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The album cover looks like the Jolt® logo, but the original cassette cover looks more like the Flash’s logo. Where’s Sheldon Cooper when ya need him? –norb (Rerun)


M.O.T.O.:
E Pluribus Moto: LP
Another old MOTO cassette reissued, this one from 1993. While I’m sure the original version of “It Tastes Just Like a Milkshake” ((as recently exhumed by the ever-graceful Nobunny)) will have all the kids pantin’, as will miscellaneous MOTO gems from all values of the Perversion Spectrum—from pure ((“I’m On Your Side I’m On It”)) to light ((“Straighten It Out”)) to heavy ((“Milkshake”)) to flat-out filthy ((“I Wanna Stick Myself” “Cancer In My Dick”))—on the whole, the very drum machiney sounding drum machine and the extended interludes of indulgent goofing off towards the end make this album less of a must-have than its spiritual sibling, “Bolt!” If anyone’s ever gotten laid whilst “Reading The Book Of My Life By The Light Of Your Love” was playing, I’d like to hear about it. BEST SONG: “It Tastes Just Like a Milkshake” BEST SONG TITLE: “Reading The Book Of My Life By The Light Of Your Love” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Comes with a fancy embossed gold foil “19th Anniversary” sticker on the front, which i find uproarious for some reason. –norb (Rerun)


M.O.T.O.:
Golden Quarter Hour of MOTO: 7” EP
The low-rent genius and Crusher-like good looks of Paul Caporino returns for eight songs recorded on four tracks pressed onto seven inches of vinyl, which is 1.143 songs per inch, 0.875 inches per song, and 0.571 tracks per inch per song. To keep things streamlined, Mr. Caporino has eliminated some of the clutter of past recordings, including backing musicians, recording studios, and verses, delivering his clever and hopelessly catchy bits directly into the listener’s nervous system with a modicum of fillers and buffering agents. Song subjects include the usual fare: Rock ((“Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock the Nation” “Dial M for Rock”)), pussy ((“Tight Feline Vegetation”)), and the great unknowable ((“AC7YIAR”)). “Suck on this lump of coal and make me a diamond?”Balderdash! This diamond comes pre-sucked! BEST SONG: “Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock the Nation” BEST SONG TITLE: Yeah, you guessed it: “Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock the Nation” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Rise up in dismay, this record clocks in at barely fourteen minutes!!! –norb (Rerun / Blast Of Silence, rerunrecordsSTL.com)


M.O.T.O.:
Shitty Kids: 7” EP
I saw M.O.T.O. perform to a rather empty bar last summer, which baffled me as Paul Caporino’s extensive catalog only has a couple of stinkers. But then I started thinking about how I won’t touch certain bands because of the size of their catalog and the intimidation factor of not knowing where to start. So, if you are wondering where to start with M.O.T.O., the truth is probably anywhere will be just fine. Now that that’s been settled, Mr. Caporino presents three new M.O.T.O. songs on this one, and, per usual, they are damn fine. The opener and eponymous track displays more of Paul’s punk tendencies, while the other two songs demonstrate his signature take on older rock, like Del Shannon. All three are recorded cleanly, and some better with each listen. If ya like M.O.T.O., then there ain’t no reason not to grab this. The only question that remains is, are the crude, no-fi recordings as gone from M.O.T.O.’s repertoire as the black pigment from Paul’s hair?  –Vincent Battilana (Secret Mission, secretmissionrecords.com)


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)


M.O.T.O. (MASTERS OF THE OBVIOUS):
Kill M.O.T.O.: CD
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.)


M.O.T.O. (MASTERS OF THE OBVIOUS):
Spiral Slouch: 7"
M.O.T.O.’s been around long enough to be long-forgotten if they were a mere parody or joke band (they’ve been around since about 1981 and if you see the Bolt LP in the racks, it’s a keeper). Sure, they’re goofy as hell and do-a-blood-test-to-see-if-they’re-legally-retarded, but their blend of pop sensibilities slapped and dashed against many a punk rock always makes me smile. Sweet fuck, “Wind It Out” reminds me of Cat Stevens and I’m singing along to it. I don’t know if I should put the gun to my head or shoot it up in the air in jubilation.  –todd (Shit Sandwich)


MAAILMANLOPPU / KUUDES SILMÄ:
Split: 7” EP
Maailmaniloppu: Tribal post-punk type stuff with barked vocals. Not too terribly intense, but appropriately moody. Kuudes Silma: Death rock with a bit more pep in their step and the melody buried in the guitar work.  –jimmy (Combat Rock Industry)


MAAKUNTARADIO:
Ehka Huomenna Kaikki on Toison: CD
Huh. Musically, they remind me a bit of Dan Webb & The Spiders—there’s the same fat guitar tone and snappy drum backbone. But the energy just isn’t there; Maakuntaradio sounds like a withdrawn, very subdued version of a ‘60s garage band. The first few songs are interesting if only because they’re sung in Finnish—but it gets pretty blasé pretty damn fast. They never turn shit up into the red or, hell, even the orange or mildly bright yellow. Muted garage pop songs in which the dude never sounds like he’s remotely pissed about anything or even that interested in his own lyrics. The packaging here was dark and promising, but the band, instead of coming out swinging and howling, stepped from their corner like a rice cake with a headache and a hula hoop. –keith (Airiston)


MAASTER GAIDEN:
Like It Never Happened: CD
Prepared as I was to hate this CD based solely on the band name (a reference to an old Nintendo game, perhaps?), it proved impossible. The songs on Like It Never Happened capture the frustration, anger, and disappointment of being a young, awkward punk whose girl left him, who can’t fit in, whose doctor says it’s time to be medicated. Maaster Gaiden takes the shit that this monkey called life flings at them and celebrates it, using it to fuel songs that lead to wild, flailing, liberating catharsis. They’ve taken their Scared of Chaka and Marked Men records, chewed them up, swallowed them, regurgitated the best bits, and spit them out as something their own. God-fucking-damn, is this good! When they come through my town, I’ll be standing in the front row, singing every word, smiling, and going ape shit. –benke (Big Action)


MAC BLACKOUT:
Self-titled: CD
A collection of demos by one of the brains behind the Functional Blackouts and Daily Void. Basically, what you’re getting here is a man and his synthesizer making much noise, the value of which depends on how you feel about a man and his synthesizer making much noise. This’ll no doubt be indispensable for fans of either band, but I’m guessing the unwashed masses would probably be no worse for wear if they never heard it. –jimmy (Deadbeat)


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