Review Summary: "Light, joy, and peace"
Perfect Pussy were conceived as a sort-of joke - a fake band for one scene in Scott Coffey's 2013 film Adult World - but sound like anything but, with often deadly-serious lyrics and riffs that convey the group is careening headlong into hell and are ***ing angry about it. The pace of their demo tape I have lost all desire for feeling
is relentless, with the buzz and swarm of noise played breakneck and only briefly crashing down into moments of swelling, reeling feedback.
The Syracuse punks draw clear inspiration from Fucked Up, with this 12-minute demo tape reminiscent of The Chemistry of Common Life
's hour-long runtime cut down to its rawest, played at a blistering pace but hitting similar notes. Vocalist Meredith Graves' unintelligible yelp bears particular resemblance to Lullabye Arkestra's contribution to "Son the Father," or Alice Glass if "Doe Deer" had been recorded on a broken 8-track in a dirty dive bar bathroom.
All members of the band bring stellar performances - the rollicking guitar riff of "I," the spiraling synth lines of the first three tracks, the heavy, jangling bass and thunderous drumming throughout - but Graves is the clear draw here. Her vocals are buried deep in the mix but remain the driving force of each of the four songs. The excellent lyrics often come across like the revelations a Buddhist philosopher might have if he were thrust into the tribulations of being in his twenties in Western society, with drunken nights at punk clubs and bar shows replacing days spent at a temple; more failing friendships and devastating break-ups and less religious communion and meditation. While the topics Graves hits could be firmly categorized as downers, her lyrics often show that these struggles give way to hope, forgiveness, and growth.
Still, these lyrics are almost inaudible, swamped in feedback and the enveloping noise produced by the other members of the band. "I'm extremely shy and I hate my voice," Graves said in an interview with Pitchfork. A former jazz singer uncomfortable yelling and shouting, she says that the decision to mix the vocals so low is part insecurity, part insistence that she wants to "be part of the band, [but not] be
the band under any circumstances." Despite her integral contribution, the musicians (also members of several Syracuse noise, grindcore, and rock bands) play with a confidence that ensures she has little to worry about, producing solid, locked-in noise pop in the first half and a surprising foray into droney, bassy psychedelia at the end of the tape. It's clear this group has a strong grasp on their sound already, making this short demo a very promising hint of greater things to come.