listening booth: morningwood, “morningwood”

Written by Music


Morningwood – Morningwood (2006)
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Morningwood

Morning wood — the kind that ZZ Top sang about — is good. Morningwood, the band? Not so much.

First, I’ll say something nice about Morningwood: This is not the worst record I’ve heard in recent memory.

There are moments, though, where it comes perilously close. Album opener “Nü Rock” (download) sounds like the theme song to a Saturday morning cartoon about miniature baby versions of The Pixies — yes, it’s as awful as that sounds. Making it even worse is that the album was produced by Gil Norton, who really ought to know better. I’m not the world’s biggest Pixies fan — or even much of a fan at all, actually — but you’d think the guy who produced their records would want to prevent this sort of hackery, not help it along.

Elsewhere, the band apes other bands and genres, just as transparently. “Jetsetter” (download) sounds like a Breeders B-side, “New York Girls” falls all over itself trying to channel CBGB’s in 1982, so on and so forth. Some of the production touches are sort of knowingly cool, like the flange about 1:40 into the vaguely AC/DC-ish “Easy,” but overall, the album comes across as hollow and brainlessly derivative in the worst possible way. If you really must buy an album with a joke about early-morning erections somewhere in the title, get this one instead.