red lights


Bubblegum-punk-pop fresh
off the assembly line

Morningwood - Morningwood
(Capitol Records)
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2006

Review by Tony Bonyata

If you miss the bubblegum girl pop of the early '80s band The Go-Gos along with the tough-chick-rock snarl of Joan Jett then have I got a band for you. On Morningwood's self-titled, full-length debut the New York quartet delivers catchy pop hooks, heavy guitar riffs and a locker-room full of youthful aggression. The major blemish on this this record, however, is that it ultimately feels like a record company exec slapped together a band to capitalize on whatever is popular within the undercurrent of rock music today; incorporating power pop, garage rock, early '80s new wave and that insipid stuff that anyone under the age of 20 swears is bona fide punk rock.
Produced by Gil Norton (Pixies / Jimmy Eat World), the end result is a glossy, preprocessed collection built on little more than sex appeal and spunk. Singer Chantal Claret pouts and purrs through numbers such as "Babysitter" and "Everybody Rules," while the sultry siren howls from the pit of her gut on the club-swinging, Neanderthal opener "Nu Rock" and "Jetsetter." On the new-wavy romp "New York Girls" the guitars slice and dice like a Ginsu knife at a Japanese steakhouse, adding a bit of sinewy muscle to the percolating synth-line, while lyrics like," In my tight black jeans and my high-heeled shoes... God, I think you're hot. I got to get with you," appear to have been ripped fresh from a teenage girl's diary. And if that ain't enough teen spirit for you, the band pulls out the pom-poms for the pep-rally pop of "Nth Degree" and "Everybody Rules," where Claret spells out M-O-R-N-I-N-G-W-O-O-D" and "E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y," respectively, in the event you, too, feel like chiming along from the bleachers.
While Morningwood brings a lot of energy to the table, it, ultimately, all comes off as an assembly-line-manufactured mindless romp that, at first, is a fun, guilty pleasure, but soon grows [sing along with me here, kids] T-I-R-E-S-O-M-E.

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to CD Archives
Return to CD Reviews
Return to Menu