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The Avatars

Never a Good Time

(No Fun; US: 12 Jun 2006; UK: Unavailable)

I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. Listening to the new album by the Avatars is a rip-roarin’ great time from start to finish. And, at only 28:29, Never a Good Time doesn’t take very long to reach that finish line, either. But, man, this Ann Arbor quintet knows how to cram the maximum amount of punk-pop hooks into a tiny package. With two dudes on guitar and three chicks on lead vocals, bass, and drums, this co-ed squadron come blasting out of the garage and start rocking your world pronto with the steamroller opener, “Honey Do” (a sly turnabout on the classic imperative from Carl Perkins). A fusion of “What I Like About You” and early Pretenders, you’ll either be hooked right away, or… well, if you’re not hooked right away, call the paramedics, because your blood has stopped a-flowin’, baby. “Wait” is the perfect combo of the Ramones, the Rolling Stones, and a keys-free Blondie, all frothed up in a reckless brew. This album is flat-out crunchy, poppy, zip-zappity rock ‘n’ roll. A more apt title for the new Avatars disc? Never a Dull Moment. Oh, you’ll love it, all right.

Rating:

Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


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