Album Review: Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love

Written for NOISE CANNON

The 'blood edition' box set, featuring frontwoman Meredith Graves' blood in the vinyl. 23 minutes wouldn't normally warrant a 'box set', but the album's excesses means that such a bumper pack doesn't come as a surprise.
The ‘blood edition’ box set, featuring frontwoman Meredith Graves’ blood in the vinyl. 23 minutes wouldn’t normally warrant a ‘box set’, but the album’s excesses mean that such a bumper pack doesn’t come as a surprise.

Anybody having read the album title Say Yes to Love, expecting the ‘Careless Whisper’ of the 21st Century is in for a nasty noise-punk surprise from Perfect Pussy. As it turns out, the New York five-piece have a far louder, niche definition of love. With a stream of noise sounding so low-fi, it’s no less intimate, but frighteningly brutal.

Opening with the rapid tick of an old tape recorder, Say Yes to Love makes no secret of just how carelessly rough it is. Performed by an act with such a name, it’s very tempting to litter any discussion with filthy innuendos. It’s quite possible that some readers ended up here having searched for something quite different. It’s just as well that this album makes little effort to show off how ‘tight’ Perfect Pussy are. In fact, they sound anything but tight. Say Yes to Love is a 23-minute lesson in pure pandemonium.

The most curious experiment comes in penultimate track ‘Advance Upon the Real’, which closes with three minutes of quiet mechanical hissing, as though the band have left the studio for a cigarette, before gradual, yet bloody loud re-entry during closer ‘VII’.  The previous fifteen minutes have been intense enough for listeners not to sink into chairs for a break here, but to stay on edge, prepared for something to make them jump out of their skin. Without watching the clock, it’s difficult to trust that the album is even over, let alone that one track has ended and the next has begun.

‘Interference Fits’ is perhaps the defining track title, as each track sounds like a poor-quality distress signal as vocalist Meredith Graves channels unintelligible fury from behind a dense wall of static, as though she is screaming her throat red raw, from a few rooms away.

What they were doing to that poor pussy we may never know, but she sounds so pained that that is best kept a secret.

Wait. What do you mean that the grumbling bass wasn’t to represent purring? Or the constant screeches of feedback every few seconds weren’t their attempt at making their guitars ‘meow’? She is screaming about cats, right…? Oh. Ew.
Considering that it’s a total free-for-all, Say Yes to Love is about as intriguing as anything so abrasive and seemingly unlistenable, can be. Its brevity and tormenting of listeners with what on earth Graves is so angry about, sucks one in for multiple listens.

7/10

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