Once you get past the sophomoric band name (heh heh, they said wood) and the junior high-level double-entendres — the single "Take Off Your Clothes" makes references to tits, and hits rocking hard — Morningwood is pretty darned irresistible. The New York City group's oft-delayed full-length debut whirls in a hormone-charged haze of fizzy new-wave cheerleading chants, punkish dance beats, and singer Chantal Claret's little-girl-lost coos and snarls. Gil Norton's production touch feels heavy. A few tunes favor the protruding bass lines and supercrunchy guitars of his famous clients the Pixies, but a better touchstone on Morningwood is Le Tigre (had that band skipped current-events class to smoke in the bathroom and make out behind the bleachers). "Nth Degree" — a Technicolor-keyboard explosion destined to pack dance floors — and the punchy Joan Jett-makes-out-with-electro-divas "Jetsetter" particularly shine. The second half of the disc, unfortunately, can't maintain the 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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