Perfect Pussy

In keeping with the spirit of Say Yes To Love, I’m going to get straight to the point. Perfect Pussy is a five-piece hardcore punk band from Syracuse. If you’re going to Google them, I would advise against doing it at work. Say Yes To Love is their 23-minute-long debut album, and I would advise you to play it as loudly as you can. It is performed with a paint-stripping intensity and recorded with a production quality that just about passes as professional. Don’t worry, though. That’s part of the intended effect.

CT192 PerfectPussy Cover

From the opening seconds of “Driver,” when tape hiss is suddenly cut short by a chugging riff that ignites the chaos to follow, Say Yes To Love is designed to replicate the feeling of being in the middle of the pit at a hardcore show, drenched in sweat and facing towards the ceiling trying to catch your breath. Most of the songs come in around the two-minute mark, and these are warts-and-all hardcore songs, with microphone feedback left in the mix and vocalist Meredith Graves using every cubic inch of her lung capacity to try to make herself heard over the racket.

That might make the album sound like it is lacking in craft, but believe me when I say that the opposite is the case. These songs are crafted with passion and precision, and the brilliant songwriting on display does plenty to stop this album from tipping over into a shapeless mess. There is a startling moment halfway through Say Yes To Love when Perfect Pussy finally takes their foot off the accelerator to drop “Interference Fits,” a Daydream Nation-style workout that also recalls the majesty of …Trail of Dead’s “Mistakes and Regrets.” It is the album’s most convincing evidence that the band is much, much more than a flash in the pan.

Although Say Yes To Love’s brevity means that the band absolutely does not outstay its welcome, I should point out that it all ends with something of a damp squib. After the long near-silence at the end of “Advance Upon The Real,” the electronic-infused noise rock and spoken word of “VII” comes across as a misstep that lends a sense of anti-climax to what has gone before. The band’s commitment to its vision regardless of formula should be commended, but it still registers as somewhat baffling.

That means that there is in total about eighteen minutes of music on which to judge the value of Perfect Pussy, but that’s more than enough. The five members here combine the in-and-out attitude of DC hardcore with the art-rock aesthetic of New York to create something visceral and vital, which follows Savages’ debut from last year in the way it transcends gimmick to make its point. Say Yes To Love is the announcement of a fantastic new band, and it’s an announcement that’s plenty loud enough to get your attention.

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Perfect Pussy