Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love

Just when you thought rock music had settled for a comfortable retirement, a gentle slide towards irrelevance and eventual oblivion, Perfect Pussy come along with almost perfect timing and remind us that maybe we can postpone that for a little while longer.
Perfect Pussy are a punk rock/hardcore band from Syracuse; their debut album Say Yes To Love is twenty four minutes of visceral, eviscerating noise that leaves you feeling like you have been slapped around the head when the final squeals of feedback have died away. It might also be the most thrilling and exciting rock album in quite some time.

Remember when danger and excitement were part and parcel of what rock music was about? Well Perfect Pussy do. This is confrontational, defiantly angry music and it feels so damn good.
It is not the retro punk of snarls, safety pins and bondage gear, but retains the cacophonous thrill of punk, the filth and the fury. Singer Meredith Graves has been an outspoken critic of the inherent sexism and lack of diversity she has encountered on the punk/hardcore scene. Her forthright views have seen her targeted for vitriolic abuse from some of the more narrow-minded bands on that scene, but she will not be deterred.
‘Say Yes To Love’ is a blistering assault on the senses – opener ‘Driver’ starts with the hiss of tape noise before the blitzkrieg commences for real – howling feedback and the white noise rush of drums and guitars on a collision course to nowhere. ‘Bells’ shudders and lurches before ‘Big Stars’ provides the first nod towards something a little less extreme – you can hear actual guitar notes, ragged and discordant, but discernible nevertheless.

‘Interference Fits’ is the best track on the album: a little Sonic Youth and a whole lot of searing, adrenalin fuelled rage. The record ends as uncompromising as it began; ‘VII’ eschews any nod towards musicality for the aural equivalent of the ‘V’ sign to the battered and dazed listener.
The whole thing sounds like it might have been recorded in a closet – this is not even close to the slick, corporate punk of Green Day and Blink 182.

It is ugly, dirty but utterly compelling in a way that transcends most of the bloodless, contemporary rock we have become accustomed to. There is every chance that nine out of ten listeners confronted with this uncompromising, defiant noise will hate it but you get the feeling Perfect Pussy wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some of the greatest acts in the history of rock elicited that extreme, polarised reaction, from the Velvet Underground through to the Sex Pistols. Say Yes to Love is a clarion call, a shrill reminder that rock music retains the capacity to thrill and excite when played with the white heat and sheer abandonment on display here.

 

(4 / 5)