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.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.