I love practically everything about the girls in Feaze. They’re punk rock. They’re 17. They’re loud and sassy and rude and hot. They mock old drunks and prudes and every guy who’s ever fallen for them. They sing lines like “We’re on a mission to save the world one song at a time.” Based on the lyrics and photos ALONE that are included on the Morning Wood enhanced CD, the Feaze girls are the coolest girls on the planet. But no matter how hard I try to love their new album—and I’m reallyreallyreallyreally trying—it’s just not going to happen, because Morning Wood just doesn’t have the songs.
It’d be impossible to actually call Morning Wood a BAD album. It’s not, by any means. It’s got a ton of attitude and a wicked sense of humor, and it’s poorly played in that manner that anyone who’s enjoyed early Donnas stuff loves. Tonie Sadler’s drumming constantly sounds like it’s half a beat behind everything else, and this only makes the album more enjoyable—more real—not less. Lots about the album works. In fact, if you made up a list of all of Morning Wood‘s good traits versus all of its bad, the good would win by a mile, no doubt. However, Morning Wood is so painfully lacking in the songs department that you simply cannot love it as much as you’d like, no matter how much else the album has got going for itself.
The album is only 32 minutes long, and even that short of a length can’t keep anything about Morning Wood from being remotely memorable. There are a handful of decent tracks, but they get lost in a monotonous mix of similar songs all done in the same key at the same tempo, and when the album finishs you don’t remember a thing. Even after three listens today, I have more than a vague memory of only one song, and that one, “Once So Sweet and Innocent,” is basically a novelty cut, two minutes of three girls gleefully shouting out their love of sex and smoking and hitting the sauce. It’s probably the least witty song on Morning Wood and, sadly, it’s the only one that seems to stand out.
You read through the lyrics after you’ve finished listening and you can’t help but end up depressed. With all its wit and smirky cynicism, Morning Wood could have easily been a very good-to-great listen, had the girls just thrown in a few songwriting change-ups instead of hurling fastball after fastball. It’s angry and bitter and sarcastic and smart, at times disaffected but just as often desperate to change the world, going from carefree to careless to caustic in spans of seconds. With a ton of great lyrics and the attitude to match, Feaze shows more potential than most other young bands in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. It just hasn’t fully realized that potential.
The girls in Feaze are still young, and chances are they’re not going to grow any happier, or get complacent. They’re still in high school, so to expect them to give the world a perfect punk rock album right now is absurd. But they seem to be capable of it in the long run, so hopefully by the time Album No. 2 rolls around, they’ll have upped the ante and banged out the great record that seems to be possible at some point. Until then, all they’ve given us is Morning Wood, which might be proof that Feaze is a band to watch. but isn’t an album that’s necessarily worth your cash. In closing, pass on this one but give Feaze time; while Morning Wood doesn’t have the songs to be a standout, there’s plenty to suggest that the next album will be worth the wait.
// Notes from the Road
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