Perfect Pussy at NPR SXSW 2014 showcase (more by Tim Griffin)
Perfect Pussy's debut album, Say Yes to Love, is out today (3/18) via Captured Tracks, and it's been getting some great reviews. We like it too, but not everyone does. Ben Greenberg of The Men (also of Hubble, not to mention an in-demand record producer) had some pretty harsh words to say about it over at The Talkhouse
Perfect Pussy is, I believe, the last band that got a lot of attention from the 285 Kent crowd before the place closed the doors and dismantled the bouncy plywood stage for good. The band's bio name-checks Sonic Youth -- because, as we all know, you can't be a band in 2014 without name-checking Sonic Youth -- the VSS, and Cro-Mags, but to my ears they're way more like the Red Light Sting or the Sick Lipstick or some other Canadian squealy post-hardcore band from the early aughts whose baditude is unabashedly waved in your face while you try to figure out just exactly what caused it in the first place -- too much homework this week? Your Jetta ran out of wiper fluid? Is your boss at the Pita Pit giving you a hard time about coming in late again? Perfect Pussy's debut LP is called Say Yes To Love and it's out on the heels of a tremendous buzz generated from the band's loud-and-fast Bandcamp demo last year. The record has its moments but is generally pretty one-note in its sound. Sometimes, like on the album's second single "Interference Fits," the band gets slightly slower and maybe even a little prettier. But when you take a step back from that track, the guitar part sounds like something off a Cursive record. The song's minute-long ambient outro feels tacked-on, like someone left the tape recorder running by mistake after the band left the room.He also, for the record, dedicates a full paragraph to making fun of the "285 Kent crowd," calling the drunken System of a Down sing-along from the venue's last show a "larger expression of how they think about rock music or music in general."
Meanwhile, Perfect Pussy, who played a bunch of shows in Austin for SXSW last week, have opened up in a new interview about bassist Greg Ambler's decision to throw his bass in the river at their bridge show with Nothing and Ex-Cult. He tells Wondering Sound:
It's weird to say what made me do it in that instant, but I know there was definitely a lot of stuff leading up to it. The night before, the drunk-driving incident, was really fucked up. We left Stubb's [where the band had been playing the NPR showcase] and there were all the cops down the street. Most of the younger band members had walked off to go back to the place they were staying and they stumbled across all these kids lying on the sidewalk, because the ambulance hadn't come there yet, so they called me to come pick them up. That very much affected them. The next day, we'd heard the Stereogum show [the band was scheduled to play] had been canceled. I kind of figured that it would, and I called my buddy the next morning and he said, "There's no way they're going to cancel the show," and I tried to explain to him that it was more than just this one incident, it's a direct result of this festival happening, people getting wasted and having no concern for other people -- that person was fleeing a DUI checkpoint at the time.Read more of the interview at Wondering Sound.
Then they were trying to just move the show, and I was really adamantly saying that we weren't going to play any show that day anywhere near that spot. I didn't want any of the band members going back there. I thought it was disrespectful, because [the incident] was as a direct result of the festival. Nobody's career was going to be made or broken by that particular show, so we should have, at the very least, rescheduled it for another time.
We had been planning to do that bridge show, but it was supposed to be for Friday night. I had said I would much rather just take the day off and just have everyone hang out and maybe play a show for just friends that wasn't a big buzz-fest. It was part frustration, part showmanship, I think -- you want to make the set memorable. Any time we play, I try to make that my outlet. I'm definitely a very cynical, negative person most of the time, and that's where I get most of those aggressions out. So that had something to do with what was going on there, but at the same time, being inwardly violent and just playing as fucking hard as you can every time you play. That's what was in my head: It was either me or the bass at that moment, and I'm old enough now to put my health above all. That's basically what it was.
Perfect Pussy are currently bringing their stellar live show all around North America, and they'll be back in NYC for shows on April 4 at Death by Audio with Total Slacker, Friendless Bummer and Sarongs; and April 5 at Mercury Lounge with Tumul and Green Dreams. Tickets for the DbA show and the Merc show are on sale now.
If you haven't heard Say Yes to Love, you can stream it on NPR. Streams of two of its tracks, with the updated list of tour dates, below...
Perfect Pussy - "Driver"
Perfect Pussy - "Interference Fits"
Perfect Pussy -- 2014 Tour Dates
03.18.14 - Che Cafe - San Diego, CA
03.19.14 - Bootleg Bar - Los Angeles, CA
03.20.14 - East 7th St Warehouse - Los Angeles, CA
03.21.14 - Rickshaw Stop - San Francisco, CA
03.22.14 - Slabtown - Portland, OR
03.23.14 - Treefort Music Festival - Boise, ID
03.24.14 - Vera Project - Seattle, WA
03.25.14 - Cobalt - Vancouver, BC
03.27.14 - Tubby Dog - Calgary, AB
03.28.14 - German Club - Regina, SK
03.29.14 - Dead Lobster - Winnipeg, MB
03.30.14 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN ^
04.01.14 - Township - Chicago, IL
04.02.14 - Ace of Cups - Columbus, OH
04.03.14 - The Shop - Pittsburgh, PA
04.04.14 - Death By Audio - Brooklyn, NY ~
04.05.14 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY +
04.24.14 - The Middle East (Downstairs) - Boston, MA *
04.25.14 - First Unitarian Church (Basement) - Philadelphia, PA *
04.26.14 - DC9 - Washington, DC *
04.27.14 - Gallery 5 Arts - Richmond, VA *
04.28.14 - King's Barcade - Raleigh, NC *
04.29.14 - Mammal Gallery - Atlanta, GA *
04.30.14 - Bottletree - Birmingham, AL *
05.03.14 - Hotel Vegas - Austin, TX $
05.05.14 - Conservatory - Oklahoma City, OK *
05.07.14 - Sweatshop - Omaha, NE *
05.08.14 - Gabe's Oasis - Iowa City, IA *
05.09.14 - Shakespeare's Lower Level - Kalamazoo, MI $
05.10.14 - Trumbullplex - Detroit, MI *
^ w/ Condiminium
~ w/ Total Slacker, Friendless Bummer, Sarongs
+ w/ Tumul and Green Dreams
* w/ YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN and Green Dreams
$ w/ Green Dreams