Bomb agog! Punk-like stitches ripped from the arm and chest of a writhing, drug-addled garage riff, the new self-titled LP from Average Times explodes with big, fantastic vibes. Each measure is tightly erected from their mounting personage, as this Ottawa band refreshes any punk rocker’s palate from here to Beijing. Toronto-based Hosehead Records and German label P Trash will release 500 copies on vinyl this month recorded under the helm of Paul “Yogi” Grainger.

With edgy breaks over hot and moaning moods from the first track on, the wildness of an ageless youth is unleashed. The beat on “Snakes” challenges the quaking pit to the last seething vein that rushes pouring in a pool of joy. The band’s self-stated influences, the Oblivians and the Mean Jeans, stir to mind when a body is fully embellished under the jagged, shattered rhythms, and the ears open to hear the swells of down-home, anti-fix, slacker glory as on the record “Summer Nights.” Average Times offers sounds of an endless party seamlessly continued from ‘90s nostalgia resurrected with unimpeded freedom into the vain, slapstick night. The band’s impeccably listenable feel overrides any sense of redundancy in the throwback mix, offering nothing short of an authentic drive into the back-country of camp beauty in all that was and is punk rock. The very title of “I Hate Tomato Juice and I Hate You” sends out an ever-lucid message into the age of apathy that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

After a hearty, 13-track album chock full of two-minute ecstasies, the only question left to wonder is where the hell in Ontario is the band’s first show this June as they kick off their next tour, and can I catch a ride?

By Matt Hanson

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