Perfect Pussy, Say Yes To Love

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Perfect Pussy gets their feeling back.

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Quinn Moreland | March 18, 2014

Perfect Pussy, Say Yes To Love [Captured Tracks]

It's been a wild year for Perfect Pussy. In under 365 days, the Syracuse five-piece has gone from being an unheard-of punk band with an “unprintable” name to a constantly touring, internationally known group with coverage on every publication from NPR to the New York Times.

I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling, Perfect Pussy's debut four-song demo, was an intense, emotional breakthrough. Rather than clinging to betrayal, singer Meredith Graves' lyrics explored self-reflection and declared forgiveness. On “II” she sings, “In loss I discovered completion / In having things stolen I found that I had more than ever / In the absence of everything I found all things / And I understood myself / So I understood nothing / So I stopped questioning.” She continues, “Nothing shakes me anymore; I'm tough now, baby / Really, I have lost all feeling / And I've lost all desire for feeling, and I can't thank you enough.” If I Have Lost all Desire For Feeling was Perfect Pussy's bleeding wound, Say Yes To Love proves that heartbreak can result in transcendence.

One of Perfect Pussy's strengths is in their coherence as a group. Although their sound may be chaotic and although Graves' lyrics are often indecipherable, each member is integral to the complexity of the layered tracks. Small details are more noticeable than before, like on Shaun Sutkus' synths. Say Yes To Love retains the rough feedback and raw energy of their debut EP, although Graves has said, “It's just as bad, but twice as long.”

They can effortlessly switch from fuzz to insanity (often, the two are mixed); on “Driver,” the track begins with a quiet feedback before Ray McAndrew tears into a simmering riff. The final minute of the song feels like Graves is purging herself through short, anthemic declarations. She punches every single word: “Lies like 'I will be protected' / Lies like 'death might forget me' / Like 'home is wherever I'm never invited' / Like 'my voice provides a light' / Like 'I can have everything I want before I die.'” On the other hand, the final track, “VII,” completely drowns out each member until they blend together in a void.

The album receives its title from the track “Interference Fits.” For the first time, the lyrics are decipherable, as Graves discusses disappointments and fears of change, adulthood, and love. The song feels reflective, perhaps due to its softness in comparison with the rest of the album. “When did we all decide to give up?” Graves urges. “Since when did we say yes to love?” Love implies an openness, a willingness to completely give your self to another. It can be the most destructive force, but we should accept the risk and say “yes.”

For all the power she commands, Graves is unafraid to admit that the is not indestructible. Perfect Pussy feels almost heroic for expressing the darkest, most vulnerable confessionals in an unabashed manner. Say Yes To Love is full of moments of acceptance: “It's not magic, it's work / But it's real and that's cool,” “I know nothing lasts forever / I know hurt can go on and on,” and “No bruise is permanent, neither am I.” Graves has learned to embrace suffering, maybe even to welcome it, for the lessons it teaches. She even says, “Yes, I am a student of the teachings of love.” It appears that

 
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