Perfect Pussy suffers a premature identity crisis on its debut LP
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Perfect Pussy suffers a premature identity crisis on its debut LP

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Perfect Pussy

Album: Say Yes To Love
Label: Captured Tracks

Perfect Pussy wasn’t an overnight success, even if its sudden rise from formation to buzz band may suggest it. Though its confrontational name probably drew a few curious glances from outside the hardcore scene, singer Meredith Graves had spent years sharpening her fangs in Shoppers, a band whose apocalyptic post-hardcore proved to be a fitting precursor to Perfect Pussy’s reverb-drenched attack. Perfect Pussy’s 2013 demo I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling was starkly washed out, with Graves’ vocals seeping into the music, creating a wall of sound that remained deeply emotive in spite of the band’s attempts to obscure them. It’s fitting that its debut full-length Say Yes To Love sees the Syracuse quintet continue the raging aggression of its demo while also trying to remove itself from hardcore’s oft-limiting structures.

The one-two punch of “Driver” and “Bells” shows the band has mastered controlled chaos, seeing it effortlessly shift tone and tempo throughout each track, deftly snaking its way around clichés. But for all its straight-ahead successes, Perfect Pussy takes as many detours as possible. “Big Stars” opens with warm guitar tones that recall Japandroids’ Brian King, quickly positioning itself as Say Yes To Love’s most accessible track. It’s when the album nears its backend that things begin to shift, and as the near-ballad “Interference Fits” proves, Perfect Pussy can make a dramatic shift in style without losing its caustic charms.

Sadly, “Interference Fits” is the last song to make such an impact. Though “Advance Upon The Real” starts with the band’s abrasive best, it quickly devolves into a swirling cacophony of noise that it never quite justifies. This sets up the album closer “VII,” and when its ambient noise finally clanks to an end, Say Yes To Love peters out with confusion instead of defined purpose. While it’s respectable to see such a young band attempt to defy the expectations of its audience, Say Yes To Love ultimately sees Perfect Pussy getting out ahead of itself, suggesting the band would be better served securing an identity before attempting to redefine it.

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