Morningwood (Capitol)

Once one gets past their sophomoric band name (huh-huh, they said "wood") and the junior high-level sexual double entendres — i.e., the single "Take Off Your Clothes," references to tits, and hits "rocking hard" on an online album stream — Morningwood are pretty darn irresistible. The NYC group's oft-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 on Morningwood is Le Tigre — had that band skipped current-events class to go smoke in the bathroom and make out with their boyfriends behind the bleachers. "Nth Degree" — a Technicolor-keyboard explosion destined to pack dancefloors — and the punchy, Joan Jett-makes-out-with-electro-divas "Jetsetter" particularly shine. The second half of the disc unfortunately 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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