• Morningwood
  • It's Tits EP (Rockhardcock) 2003 
  • Morningwood EP (Rockhardcock) 2003 
  • Morningwood (Capitol) 2006 

In the early 1980s, Frank Black had a drunken one-night stand with the Divinyls’ Christina Amphlett who, nine months later, gave birth to Chantel Claret. Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but judging from the sound of Claret’s band, Morningwood, it might as well have. On their self-titled debut, the rudely named New York quartet — which also includes bassist Pedro Yanowitz (a former Wallflowers drummer), drummer John Paul Keenon (ex-Cibo Matto) and guitarist Richard Steel (ex-Spacehog) — applies a Pixie-ish sense of dynamics (credit their producer-in-common, Gil Norton) to the Australians’ naughty new wave. The result is self-consciously trashy and lightweight, but ultimately fun and genuinely sexy. The album is full of such minor gems as “Jetsetter,” “Take Off Your Clothes” and “Babysitter” as well as one genuine pop masterpiece, “Nth Degree.” Claret is an appealing frontwoman, switching from schoolgirl to hellcat as smoothly as the band navigates the Pixies-patented Loud/Soft Dynamics®. And, damn it, she actually really looks like she could be the lovechild of Frank Black and Christina Amphlett.

[Brad Reno]

See also: Cibo Matto, Spacehog, Wallflowers