Morningwood: Diamonds & Studs

RIYL: Pat Benatar, Garbage, Paramore

The manner in which success has eluded New York’s Morningwood (previously a quartet, now a duo) is frankly surprising. Their songs are armed to the teeth with punchy guitar riffs, and singer Chantal Claret is an absolute belter, a larger than life personality with an oversized libido to match. (Think Pat Benatar, only this time you actually have a shot at getting her in bed.) After a one-album stay with Capitol, Morningwood has elected to go the self-released route with their sophomore effort Diamonds & Studs (though MTV is assisting with the distribution), and unlike most self-made affairs, this album sounds damn good. Indeed, it’s a modern-day production with an old-school mix job, lacking the overcompression that makes most contemporary albums sound like complete and utter shit. Much like the band’s debut, a few songs stand head and shoulders above the others, namely “Sugarbaby,” which out-Paramore’s Paramore. “How You Know It’s Love,” which jumps from shuffle beat to four-on-the-floor rocker in the chorus, playfully cribs from the band’s “Nth Degree,” and the drum-heavy “That’s My Tune” has ‘club smash’ written all over it.

Strangely, as pleasant as the album sounds while it’s playing, much of it leaves no footprint once it’s gone. Case in point: “Three’s a Crowd.” Fabulous while you’re listening to it, but an hour later, it’s hard to remember how it goes. Morningwood is still putting the pieces together, but there are far worse bands that are out-selling them. Pity. (Morningwood Inc. 2009)

Morningwood MySpace page
Click to buy Diamonds & Studs from Amazon


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