ALBUM REVIEW: Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love

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Prime Listening

Perfect Pussy | ARTIST

Say Yes To Love | ALBUM

Captured Tracks | LABEL

18 March 2014 | RELEASE DATE

8.5 | 10

The opening :10 of Perfect Pussy’s debut LP, Say Yes to Love, is the quietest the album gets, as if the band is giving the listener a ten-second head start and then daring us to keep up. And throughout Love, Perfect Pussy are relentless in their display of heart-racing, thrashing compositions that swing by so fast, mental whiplash will be the most likely side effect.

The album picks up where their breakthrough 2013 cassette-release EP I have lost all desire for feeling left off, finding them in the fire we last left them. “Since when do we say yes to love,” Meredith Graves shout-sings during the phenomenal “Interference Fits,” one of many sharp and piercing performances here accented by Graves captivating vocal stylings.

There’s hardly anything new or fascinating about a band playing loud and fast. And that’s the basic M.O. throughout Love, and Perfect Pussy’s discography up to this point. But what makes this band stand out more than any of their contemporaries is the exquisite, captivating and guttural performances from lead singer Meredith Graves. Her yelps and screams have feeling behind them, and are never placeholders like a punk rock version of mad libs. It can be difficult to decipher what exactly she’s singing, but whatever has drawn Graves’ ire makes for riveting, impossible-to-turn-away-from musical moments.

The album bleeds together to the point it’s hard to see where one song ends and another begins. This breaking down of conventional structures fits right in line with the entire aesthetic of Perfect Pussy; brash, sloppy, fervent, defiant. At 23 minutes, the album rushes by as quick as a lightning bolt, and it’s just as startling as that first unexpected bolt. And the most impressive quality about this debut LP is just how easily Perfect Pussy is able to make this an album people can relate to, with the audience not on the outside looking in, but rather living and breathing, fighting and loving, right next to the band.

While Say Yes to Love makes its mark with its constructive tenacity, it’s the smaller moments that truly make the album a huge success. A line such as the one Graves shouts at the end of “Driver,” in which she sings, “I can have everything I want before I die,” hits incredibly hard, acting as a moment of clarity for both the singer and audience. And on the closing, drone/noise punk of “VII,” Graves’ double and triple-tracked vocals create a beautiful dissonance, with some of the only audible lyrics being, “love is just competition … it hurts so good.” And when it bites as sharp as Perfect Pussy does, it demands your attention.

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