Once you get past the sophomoric band name (huh-huh, they said "wood") and the junior high-level double entendres -- e.g., the single "Take Off Your Clothes" references both tits and hits "rocking hard" -- Morningwood is pretty darn irresistible. The NYC group's repeatedly delayed full-length debut whirls in a hormone-charged haze of fizzy new-wave cheerleading chants, punkish dance beats and vocalist Chantal Claret's little-girl-lost coos and snarls. Gil Norton's production touch feels heavy (check the protruding bass lines and super-crunchy guitars à la his famous clients the Pixies on a few tunes), but a better touchstone for Morningwood is Le Tigre -- had that band skipped current events class to go smoke in the bathroom and make out with boys behind the bleachers. "Nth Degree," a multicolor-keyboard explosion destined to pack dance floors, and the punchy Joan Jett-makes-out-with-electro-divas "Jetsetter" particularly shine. Unfortunately the second half of the disc can't maintain this tireless energy, so consider Morningwood the equivalent of a hot 'n' heavy smooching session at a party that doesn't end in a walk of shame the next A.M.


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