Canada has a knack for pumping out pop-rock masters. The Perms meet criteria for honest go-getters making flashy, catchy, simple tunes. Miracle (Hugtight Records, 2017) is actually their fifth studio release, although it sounds as fresh as a band’s beginning. Miracle harkens back to early 90’s rock glory, pulsing with the same veins as Butthole Surfers, Crash Test Dummies, and Blind Melon. Only one song here breaks three minutes. We’re talking tight songs from Shane Smith (bass/vocals), Chad Smith (guitar/vocals), and John Huver (drums).
On the opener, “Julie”, the guitar work has a familiar, blissful air to it, and lines like, “She had to take what she could give… That is how she wins/ She has to always win,” vibe so nicely. The lyrics aren’t deep, but they’re not cliché either. Everything here is spot on; the quick guitar solo, the one-word chorus, the vocal harmonies… All right on.
This intentionality carries the album through. “Busy Izzy” could have ended up on the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack, had it come out a decade ago. The whiny verses and the shiny, upbeat chorus offers interesting juxtaposition. “November” is just as glorious. “The days are long…It’s freezing cold… I know it’s tough.” And while this power trio seems to be in utter synchronicity, John Huver’s drums give The Perms their signature sound, and this track is a perfect example how.
The Perms is wholesome fun. Rock music at its purest. The songs avoid sounding rehashed because The Perms clearly didn’t set out to sound like anything in particular. They just like loud music. Coming in at nine songs and 23 minutes, my only criticism is that Miracle is too short. Had they been able to make it to 12 tracks, the album would fall directly in the cannon of fireball short albums, (thinking Green Day’s Insomniac, Weezer’s Blue Album, and The Strokes’ Room on Fire), but the EP status doesn’t suit a band who makes short songs.
Seriously, though: if you like power trios, 90’s- era alt. rock, fun but not silly music, and Canada, The Perms are going to be your new best friends. I really like this album.