The Perpetrators Tow Truck

From Winnipeg, this three-piece house wreckin’ unit are Canada’s strongest contender to join the many bands currently lumped onto the alt-blues bandwagon. In truth though, the Perpetrators have more in common with older groups like the Flaming Groovies or the Pretty Things, mixing up their sound with blues, country, surf instrumentals, garage punk and doses of psychedelic funk and electronic experimentation. Tow Truck, their third self-released CD, is the first to really capture the variety and quality of the Perps’ live show. Famous for their instrumental boogies, they throw a curveball right away, leading off with a surf instrumental Link Wray would have been proud of. The songs are deceptively clever tales about the simple things in life: relationships, life on the road and getting loaded. Guitarist J. "Howik” Nowicki is a distinctive vocalist, with a strong tone of irony pervading his delivery. Nothing gets too serious as a result. Newest member Chris "MAMA” Bauer (drums) adds a punk-ish thump at times, such as on the furious "You’re Gonna Kill Me” and the goofy "Happy Friday.” Ryan Menard holds down the bottom end; he’s an economical player that mainly stays out of the way while providing the recording with its rhythmic thrust. Junior Kimbrough would be proud to know his North Mississippi trance blues have found a new home in Winnipeg. The only thing topping this CD would be to experience them live. (Independent)