Say Yes to Love, the hopeful-by-way-of-drowning-irony title of Perfect Pussy’s debut full-length record, eloquently captures the sentiments reflected on its eight-track, thrashing barrage.
Staggering confidently from noise-rock to punk, Say Yes is many things in many moments. Vocalist Meredith Graves’ bark overlays manic progressions with a kind of can’t-be-fucked-with honesty.
Her inflections are not overt, but the real magic of her performances lies in the nuances of her relentless delivery. The way she stretches her words to match the punctuating stop-and-go syncopation on “Work” welcomes the listener into a mind that sounds like it’s floundering in desperation.
We’re alternately coddled and violently shaken by the band’s ability to swing back and forth between feedback-coated riffs that are reduced to a slippery catchiness and all-out, vertigo-inducing volume.
Even in the more tender opening of “Interference Fits,” the second single on Say Yes, there is something in the delivery of the lyrics, the way a tambourine colors the insistent, rolling pacing of the rhythm, and the tasteful wailing of the guitar that strikes a deep chord.
Perfect Pussy is surefooted and deliberate in its angst. Full of hell and dripping with attitude, there is a relatable quality to the in-your-face delivery that makes the abrasive, discordant rock meaningful if you’ve ever just had it. Graves’ double-tracked vocals creep up in a few different places; mismatched musings spew from each ear on the end of “Interference Fits” after she begs an answer to the question, “Since when do we say yes to love?”
It’s a kind of sloppiness that maintains its composure, never trashy or over the top–the listener believes in Perfect Pussy’s on-the-verge-of-losing-it motif.
Say Yes wastes little time in its 22-minute duration. The band carves out space for texturing in the form of long-winded noise interludes, like the one that makes up the majority of “Advance Upon the Real.” The silence is tinted with slight mechanical insinuations—it’s a brief repose from the aural assault for the band and listener to regain their balance as they find footing on the last plateau before being overrun with the noisy fuzz of the album’s unsettling closer, “VII.”
Say Yes is like an embrace of the Steppenwolf, an intimidating pleasure that doesn’t hesitate to stare you down while offering itself.
Expanding on the sound that caught many by surprise on its fiery demo, I have lost all desire for feeling, Perfect Pussy has cemented its inability to be tamed. Though Say Yes to Love sounds cleaner, the tidying up seems to only have made room for a more thorough unleashing of feeling. The battery is drained, but has never been more primed for a charge.
Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love tracklist:
- “Big Stars”
- “Interference Fits”
- “Advance Upon the Real”