The ideal way to witness Perfect Pussy is in a cramped room mobbed with fans, collectively losing their minds to the ecstatic, pile-driving fury. On stage, the Syracuse hardcore band’s set is somehow both the shortest and longest 15 minutes of unforgettable punk music you’ll see right now; an assured barrage of scorching guitars, feedback squall — and the powerful vocal assault of frontwoman Meredith Graves, who sings with an unfiltered and ecstatic rage.
Last year, the reputation of Perfect Pussy’s self-affirming live shows reached fever pitch after a string of now-storied early performances in DIY spaces — including the now-shuttered 285 Kent. Now, following its self-released, four-song demo tape, I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling, and a flurry of buzz following showcases during CMJ and SXSW, Perfect Pussy attempts to document that jolting sound on its first true LP, Say Yes To Love.
Blasting through an unrelenting eight songs and 23 minutes, Graves and the rest of Perfect Pussy — Ray McAndrew (guitar), Garrett Koloski (drums), Greg Ambler (bass), and Shaun Sutkus (keyboards) — sing with messy urgency about deeply personal topics, even when the words are largely indecipherable. From its themes of social injustice and censorship, gender politics and female empowerment, and battling the societal expectations of love and happiness, down to the name of the the band itself, Perfect Pussy is a confrontational and unapologetic band delving into some big ideas and stigmas. Yet, even amid the visceral noise and sludge, Perfect Pussy’s fearless vibrancy and honest emotion always shines through. It’s a sight to behold.