By Chaz Kangas
By Sound of the City
By Peter Gerstenzang
By Katherine Turman
By Chris Kornelis
By Brian McManus
By Ray Cummings
By Nicholas Pell
Morningwood's lead vamp Chantal Claret aims to be the Samantha Fox of the TRL generation. She sounds like a typically frustrated young thang who wants to have some fun, move her body all night long, then go home and pass out on the cat. Like the calculated space-age power rock on the NYC band's self-titled debut, Claret goes as far as she has to in order to get what she wants, and then she's outta there. Anything else is too much effort.
The demanding do-me track "Take Off Your Clothes" is drunk dialogue between a horny, groveling Claret and a Sweet Action reject who wants to get acquainted first. Fat chance. As if she doesn't have two or three dudes on the back burner ready to go right now?
The album's hard-on relies on instant gratification. With brash riffs and Claret's scuffed nasally screaming, "Nu Rock" damns the posers who are too cool to get into the groove the way Morningwood do on the rock 'n' roll roadhouse stomp "Easy" and the cheery '80s pogo-pop "Nth Degree."
But Claret's most established shtick involves being both the cooing, eyelash-batting sex kitten and the screaming, impatient mega-bitch in order to get her way right away. This bipolar act is reflected by the music's minimal new wave puttering leads into the rowdier, more explosive "Jetsetter," "New York Girls," and "Everybody Rules." Like waking up with a two-by-four in your shorts after a night of nonstop boning, it's amusing but ultimately too predictable to be disarming.