Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk

by Sam Sutherland (ECW Press)

Sam Sutherland had the unenviable task of giving a coherent narrative of the early punk scenes across Canada. The result is Perfect Youth, an almost exhaustive account of the emergence of Canadian punk rock that covers everything from Newfoundland’s the Reaction to Regina’s The Extroverts to Victoria’s Dishrags. Perfect Youth doesn’t purport to be a comprehensive bible for northern punk---Sutherland is quick to assert that he may piss off a few people for overlooking some bands or combining the Atlantic Provinces into a single chapter, but Perfect Youth does something that no other work has succeeded at doing---creating a meaningful understanding of how early Canadian punk scene were linked. Sutherland showcases colorful and enduring figures from those scenes like Moncton’s Mark Gaudet, Toronto’s Nazi Dog, Calgary’s Warren Kinsella, Vancouver’s Art Bergmann (by way of Surrey and White Rock) and Victoria’s Jade Blade. Perfect Youth is an essential and hilarious look at an important cultural whole.

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