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Japa, Pedro, Chantal and Timo could be the raincoated figures in a noir Casablanca, all eyeliner, chiselled features and a repressed, intelligent sensuality in a sexy, stifling tropical climate... clandestine machinations over razor-sharp stiletto heels and chilled vodka. Close, real close.

Morningwood exude sex. AND THEY ROCK! They strain to contain the surfeit of talent within the dirty, tight songs that make you want to shag all of them at once. Every song is like a separate sexual encounter, delivered by one of the most gorgeous bands in NYC, but let me say what I really think.

The impossibly-named singing odalisque, Chantal Claret has been an object of my fascination since I first saw her voluptuousness gracing the scraggy crowds at NYC's indie clubs, promoting, flirting, creating. By the end of the second song of any gig, Chantal looks like she's been bestowing her gifts all night on some unsuspecting youth, all streaked mascara and pink cheeks. Chantal is the baby of the band, and claims, rather charmingly, that she's "used to being underage". With VIP and RIP tattoos on her arms, and film school behind her, she cuts a figure that most girls can only dream of.

Pedro Yanowitz has girls falling in love with him every time he breathes in, and it gets worse when he breathes out. Boyish charm never had it so good. Ah, the bass is wielded with such tender, firm sexiness, it betrays the nice guy behind all his apparent lasciviousness. Pedro's pedigree needs just a moment of exposure; the founding of the Wallflowers with Jakob Dylan, a long standing stint, as drummer, with Nathalie Merchant, then founding Morningwood, "my dream band". Pedro's professional and emotional generosity draws people to him, and he numbers Money Mark amongst his collaborators.

Sprung from artistic seed, athletic, workaholic Timo Ellis looks like he's about to orgasm when he's on stage and it makes for a compulsive performance, especially with the added dichotomy of the knob-twiddling aspect of his musicianship. Having formed two punk bands at school, Lemonade and Nubin, Timo has performed and recorded with Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Cibo Matto, and recently released a side-project solo record that indulges his electronic bent.

Japa Keenon appears to have walked off the set of a late 50's British black and white film: the handsome cad with smouldering eyes that could burn a hole in any woman's knickers, and gets away with it. How he retains his dignity thrashing the crap out of the drums, God only knows, but elegance appears to be a Morningwood trait. Japa likes his electronic candy too and has collaborated with Timo on the latter's solo record, as well as having worked with the venerable Daniel Johnston, Sean Lennon, Ben Lee and cibo Matto.

Morningwood came together in 2001, as Pedro puts it, "Four best friends jumping into a collaboration together with all the best hopes. We figured we hang out together all the time, so why not try to get paid and laid at the same time?" I sincerely hope he doesn't mean the whole band at the same time... too rich for my blood, baby. I'll try anything once, but with Morningwood once is definitely not enough. So it comes as no surprise that people are drooling over this magnetic new frontispiece.

Copywrite Basia Zamorska 2003

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