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Local label Hosehead has mined Ottawa’s fantastic garage pop scene, emerging with Average Times’ catchy debut LP. Taking cues from Jay Reatard, the 13-track 25-minute burner is entertaining in a better than average drink-till-you-fall-on-your-face way.
Although the four-piece employ the simple songwriting common in the genre, they’re clearly making efforts to branch out. Popsicle is a slick summer-ready opener (duh), but the banging repetition of Look Loose is more snarling than sunshine.
With virtually no buildup from verse to chorus, the band takes a deep breath and pummels through tracks, especially on the countrified stomp of Snakes. Blink and you might miss the album’s subtleties, though they’re definitely there. Summer Nights, for instance, gleams with a crisp pop hook that takes a few spins to set in but will be indelible once the snow melts.
Top track: On My Own