Morning Wood

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Granted, there's an undeniable novelty appeal to Morning Wood -- after all, it's not every day teenage girls put out punk records before they're even old enough to drive -- but subtract the age factor from the Feaze equation and you're still left with a smart, tough-minded debut record of real substance. Clearly influenced by local heroines Sarge, the trio's songs marry punchy pop melodies with lyrics surprising in their vulnerability and honesty; for all of the Runaways-styled attitude and raunch of songs like "Once So Sweet and Innocent," the best moments on Morning Wood, like "Gone" and "Oh Good Lordy It's Raining Alcohol," capture the harsh realities of modern adolescence with genuine poignance. A good record if not necessarily a great one, it's ultimately commendable as much for what it delivers in the present as for what it promises in the future.

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