Say Yes To Love

Review of "Say Yes To Love" by Perfect Pussy, out on Captured Tracks May 18th. "In the world of lo-fi recording, there's a careful but important line..."

Our Rating

9.5

It has to be said: Pitchfork was right. Buzz bands are no fun to like, but in the case of Perfect Pussy there’s no denying that their debut is nearly pitch-perfect. The only real argument that will come alongside their Captured Tracks offering is whether Perfect Pussy will have the strength to put out more of their blisteringly intense noise-punk in the future.

In the world of lo-fi recording, there’s a careful but important line between trying to capture a very certain aesthetic, and genuinely not giving a shit about the quality of your album. Say Yes To Love is enthusiastically in the former category—everything from the perfect breakup of singer Meredith Graves’ nearly incomprehensible vocal delivery to the beautiful feedback and constant crackle of each disgusting guitar line screams “polish”, even if that candy coating happens to be in the form of sandblasted gravel against your eardrums. Like no-fi pioneers No Age before them, Perfect Pussy have managed to capture a sound so ludicrously sharp as to be infectious. Say Yes To Love is the kind of scratchy punk record that was probably harder to produce than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and that’s a really good thing.

Of course, just because Graves’ lyrics are intentionally buried beneath a mountain of fuzz doesn’t mean Perfect Pussy is more style than substance. The band makes a lot of noise, both figuratively and literally, and manages to cram a 23-minute album with both loud guitars and loud ideas. Comparisons to riot grrrl bands of the ’90s aren’t off their mark—the same political manifesto clearly drives the five-piece, and even when you can’t hear what she’s yelling about, the anger behind Graves’ yowl is apparent in each of their eight songs.

Giant gaps of static piece together Say Yes To Love and provide the only respite from what is a pumeling collection of unspent aggression and a one-finger salute to self-control. It’s impossible to imagine a band this volatile lasting long enough to put out more than a single record, but maybe that’s the point. Perfect Pussy’s debut offering is so effective because it feels like the end of a very short fuse—and it’s perfectly alright if album closer “VII” is the last of their dynamite. It’s hard to say if Say Yes To Love leaves room for movement, or for growth, for the completely unavoidable punkers, but with an album like this one, there doesn’t need to be.

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Fraser Dobbs

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