Singers often work long and hard to get noticed. Maybe they should attend more parties. That worked for Morningwood vocalist Chantal Claret. She was attending a birthday party in '01 where everyone was asked to sing on the spot. Claret sang a song she'd written a couple years earlier. It was an impressive performance. Also at the party was drummer-turned-bassist Pedro Yanowitz. He had worked with the Wallflowers and Natlie Merchant. Liking what he heard, the two soon began writing songs together.
Some groups are more a meeting of the minds rather than a self-contained unit. Morningwood is the latter. With the addition of drummer John Paul Keenon O. the line-up was set. So that's bass, drums and vocals. After appearing at a Capitol Records showcase the group was signed and assigned producer Gil Norton (Echo & The Bunnymen, Foo Fighters), who took the New York based trio to London's Rak Studios to record their self-titled debut.
Morningwood scored a hit with "Nth Degree." But the crowning move was a tight little marketing line. In press materials they described themselves as "a monster truck having sex with a Bond girl." Yeah, sure, why not?
Morningwood plays faux-Punk ear candy. It's as if they took Punk and cut out everything people didn't like. Punk's reckless sloppiness has been cleaned up. The sharp guitars have been replaced by fat, compressed ones. Rage has given way to sex and complaints. They did, mercifully, keep the energy which is capably provided by drummer Matto and bassist Yanowitz, who excels on the set's second track "Televidor." They also know a killer riff when they land on one. That said, Morningwood has a catchy, appealing sound fronted by Claret's expressive vocals. The hit "Nth Degree," Nu Rock" and Jetsetter" are uptempo romps. "Take Your Clothes Off" has some wit while "Body 21" plays on sex, love and trust ("first it was my legs but my heart is open").
Morningwood is yet another Punk-pop hybrid but they possess enough punch and melodic sense to get across.