The Perms – The Aberdeen EP Review

The Perms EP Review

I first came across this talented Canadian trio when I reviewed 2011’s fun full-length rocker Sofia Nights. Now, these Manitoba residents are back with a new offering; four more refreshingly aggressive rock tracks on The Aberdeen EP.

We had a chance to chat with lead singer Shane Smith about the EP, which features four powerful catchy songs. Four tunes that show the band continuing to grow musically, as well as lyrically; as they take on increasingly mature topics, while maintaining their addictive pop-rock appeal.

Smith’s vocals are distinctive and a highlight of the EP. With the unique sound he offers, I asked about his influences. “Growing up I loved Kurt Cobain. As the band started to grow and mature I loved listening to lead singers like Peter Cetera (Chicago) John Lennon and of course Burton Cummings (Guess Who).” A diverse group of influences, and probably the reason Smith doesn’t really sound like any of them, but instead has his own unique style. Cummings by the way, is the biggest rock icon to come out of The Perms’ hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

We get a quick look at the vocals, as well as the band’s melodic harmonies on the opening cut, “It’s Mania.” The song which was a fan favorite on their recent European tour, has a bit of a euphoric feel to it, but is actually about the challenges of living with bi-polar disorder. Smith offers, “the lyrics are more of a cry for help than a show of positivity.”

I LOVED the grittiness of the vocals on “Aberdeen.” my favorite track on the EP. The song also features creative addictive guitar work from Smith’s brother, Chad who wrote the song about his daughter. “It’s funny, we used to write about girls, partying, etc… now we’re writing about our daughters and parenthood.”

“The Parent Thing” is an additive fun track. It features a fun retro sound to it, which is a trait that seems to emerge fairly often on Perms’ tracks, which is a nice touch.

The EP closes powerfully with “Walk Away.” It’s one of the few tracks that features keyboard/synth (courtesy of Shaun McDonald), but make no mistake, this, like the rest of the songs, is an aggressive guitar-driven rocker. It’s a well-produced offering highlighting the skills of Myke Kurnell of Vambo Studios in Winnipeg, who according to Smith is “one of the more experienced studio guys in Winnipeg right now.”

The 4 song EP is definitely worth picking up, and has whet my appetite for more music from these guys. I asked Smith when we could expect to see a full-length offering. “Hard to say. We really loved focusing on recording four songs at a time instead of ten or so. We’ll either release another EP or maybe release a single. It’s a lot easier to get music out to the public when you have fewer songs and of course not as much money.” In reality, in this digital world, it’s a creative and smart approach that we seem to be experiencing more frequently on the rock music scene.

Check out the album and keep your eyes open for a 2014 Tour of Canada and a return to Europe, and just maybe a visit to the States. In the meantime, grab the album below and let us know what you think?

Mike G.

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