The Perms – Sofia Nights

Rating: 7/10

So far this year, we’ve seen Fountains Of Wayne return old school power-pop to the masses. Now, The Perms have thrust themselves upon me in a glorious celebration of the genre’s not-so-glamorous underbelly.

Did I know about the Winnipeg outfit before they emailed me? Sadly not. But I do now, and I’m glad.

If you’re after delicately laced melodic fineries, you may be in for a shock. The Perms aren’t so much the wedding dress as the tie around the head at the end of the night. But why shouldn’t they be? Experience underpins their music, and let’s face it, life isn’t always pretty.

It’s rough around the edges, splitting at the seams, and it feels worryingly undervalued. In places you wonder if The Perms feel condemned to role of ‘nearly men’. Maybe that’s why I like it, though – I’m a sucker for the underdogs.

But that’s not how The Perms should be seen. Opening Track ‘High School High’ is charmingly boisterous in its approach, with enough of a synth lead to tickle your fancy.

As the ten-track rolls on, it becomes increasingly clear that statistics, not ability are The Perms’ kryptonite. They’re a great nod to acts like Weezer – they’ve got the hooks, but left the cheese well enough alone. Perhaps in another time, with a better, X-Factor style sob story, they could have had their day.

So, there you have it. The Perms – one of power-pop’s best kept secrets. But it’s a secret I’m happy to blab.

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