Morningwood shows punk rock at its best

Morningwood’s self-titled album has the Pixies’ written all over it. The band has a punk-rock and new wave sound that has an attitude of a garage band. Their catchy hooks give them the potential to be as popular as No Doubt was in the ’90s.

The New York born and bred foursome consists of vocalist Chantal Claret, Pedro Yanowitz (former drummer for Wallflowers and Natalie Merchant) on bass and vocals, drummer Alfredo Ortiz, and guitarist John Paul Keenan (former drummer for Cibo Matto). Morningwood was produced by Gil Norton (Pixies’ former producer), who is responsible for the sonic creativity of the album, which was released on Jan. 10.

Band members play the most rocking, heavy guitar riffs that match Claret’s crazy vocals. Claret makes the whole package complete.

It is funny how singer Chantal Claret adopts Gwen Stefani’s style in the anthem “Nth Degree.” Claret chants “M-O-R-N-I-N-G-W-O-O-D” mimicking Stefani’s “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” in her hit “Hollaback Girl.”

Although she adopted the chant, Claret sings repeatedly with a force that would blow a little blonde cheerleader out of the water, without putting her sugary cuteness at stake.

It is no shock that this was the band’s first released single. They do a good job of promoting themselves in the song.

“Jetsetter” is powerful, so much that she even yells ‘Wow!’ at the end; maybe even surprising herself with her force.

Once Madonna hears “Take Off Your Clothes,” it will make her want to adopt Claret as her next understudy.

The difference between Claret and Britney Spears is that Britney accepted the offer as an understudy and Claret would refuse.

While Britney tries to be suggestive (pre-pregnancy days), Claret tells you where it is at with no sugar-coating.

Morningwood’s live shows have been known to feature audiences that take “take off your clothes” literally.

“Body 21” is Claret’s refusal to deal with age in her relationships with men. As the youngest of the group, now 23 years old, she doesn’t want to be known as just a little girl who is immature. She sings, “my body’s twenty-one, but my mind is ageless.”

“New York Girls” is a song that the foursome wanted to add to the album to express their ties to their hometown.

It will have a cult-like effect on women all over the state.

Morningwood just wants to have fun and not take themselves so seriously, a change from the deep lyrics that we are used to hearing from punk-rockers.

They have successfully created an album that is reminiscent of former female fronted bands (Hole, Garbage), but they still put their unique spin on it.

“There’s an attitude, this balls-to-the-wall feeling, you don’t hear so much in New York these days,” said Claret on the band’s my space website.

“At one time there was a grittiness here with the local bands, a passion and energy, but now it seems pretty safe.”