The Moto-Litas

For the Greater Good

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With a band named after the Aston Martin D86 steering wheel and comprised of four women who go by the aliases Betty Boomskins, Kitty Kowabunga, Trixie Riptide, and Leggy Limbeaux, you wouldn't expect anything other than what you get on this debut nine-track EP: frothy, fun and surprisingly tight pop-punk with more than a passing nod to early Go-Go's. Not as pissed-off or leather-tough as Joan Jett and with a far better sense of humor than Sleater-Kinney, Atlanta's Moto-Litas sound like a garage band from a particularly tidy suburban home. While they can rock out with the best of them, these party girls generally keep to a mid-tempo groove, even when borrowing the Who's "I Can't Explain" riff in "Did I Mention" (and adding hand claps), the album's angriest song. Nods to the Nuggets-era of trashy American pop come in the cheesy organ that runs through "Welcome Mat" and the surf-styled attack of the instrumental "Roadkill," which kicks in like the Ventures meeting the Ramones. The songs benefit from smart, relatively intricate arrangements that feature sassy harmonies and guitars that don't need screaming solos to make their point. What's refreshing throughout is the Mota-Litas' lack of flash, sex, pretence, or unnecessary volume to make their points, which gives the disc a natural, unhurried feel even though most songs don't break the three-minute barrier. While they won't change your world, they'll spice it up and make it a more fun place to be for a half-hour.

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