After a 7-inch for Ann Arbor's No Fun Records and a regular presence on local stages, the Avatars have finally released their debut full-length, the bright, bratty and decidedly no-frills Never a Good Time. Producer John Speck gets the tones right throughout, and the quintet uses its tools right, from the twin-guitar crunch to vocals alternating soulful purrs with unhinged calls of "Baby, please!" This is contemporary garage rock with a grit that's damn catchy. Bassist Theresa Kiefer relates five Avatars monomanias that are never a good time.
5. No left turn: Trying to find a cool left-handed guitar, even though you manage a guitar store.
4. Pros and cons: It's always a good time to do shots with the other bands before a show, but it's never a good time to get up there in a drunken blur, ready to puke all over your bass.
3. Drumtroversey: It's not a good time when, after hauling ass to NYC, the venue forces you to play the house drum kit, despite your own rig sitting in the van. It becomes even less of a good time when said kit implodes on stage. Nice.
2. Here's where the strings come off: Breaking a string onstage at a sold-out Chicago show is never a good time. It gets even worse when the other guitarist breaks one too.
1. New Jersey, the Never a Good Time State: Touring is always a good time, but when you turn onto what looks like a regular Jersey street, only to see a locomotive in the van's rearview, you'll scare the shit out of your bandmates. Sorry, everyone!
The Never a Good Time release party is Saturday, Sept. 9, at The Belmont, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966. With All Seeing Eyes and Loretta Lucas.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org