PERFECT PUSSY

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“It’s just one amongst many things that we have going on right now,” explains bassist Greg Ambler. “Every other band we’re in is kind of a niche band. Me espe­cially – I’ve always been in very anti-music bands, like pow­ervi­o­lence and grind­core, so it’s really only for one kind of per­son. [With Per­fect Pussy], we were going to do what we wanted to do, as opposed to being a niche band.”

Fol­low­ing last year’s debut EP I’ve Lost All Desire For Feel­ing, in March, Per­fect Pussy unveiled their debut album Say Yes To Love. It’s easy to describe the record as one 2014’s stand­out releases. How­ever, slap­ping together hard­core instru­men­ta­tion with washes of feed­back, exper­i­men­tal synths and Mered­ith Graves’ emo­tion­ally urgent lead vocals, it’s not so easy to describe what Say Yes To Love sounds like.

“We’re five very dif­fer­ent peo­ple from very dif­fer­ent back­grounds,” says Ambler, “so there really is five totally dif­fer­ent ele­ments brought into it. Peo­ple come together so often, and they’re like ‘I want to start a band that sounds like this,’ or ‘I want to write a song that sounds like this.’ [Per­fect Pussy] is a gen­eral un-acceptance of cur­rent ideals. No mat­ter how pro­gres­sive punk is, there’s always room to build.”

While Say Yes To Love is the sound of a band work­ing together towards a col­lec­tive end, the input of each indi­vid­ual is also clearly dis­cernible. Despite being a con­fla­tion of dis­parate ele­ments, how­ever, it’s not a con­found­ing lis­ten. Through­out the record’s fran­tic 23-minutes, there’s plenty of mem­o­rable song craft.

“There’s a lot of dif­fer­ent things that peo­ple can take from it,” Ambler agrees. “And at least enough for it to be relat­able, for some­one to find a per­sonal ele­ment. Whether it’s one end of the spec­trum or the other. That’s some­thing we noticed, but it’s not any­thing we honed in on.”

Released via trend­set­ting Brook­lyn indie imprint Cap­tured Tracks, upon its release the album gar­nered high praise from the likes of Pitch­fork and DIYMag­a­zine. As a result, Per­fect Pussy have spent the major­ity of 2014 on the road. Not sur­pris­ingly, achiev­ing this rel­a­tively instant noto­ri­ety com­pletely caught the band off guard.

“We were get­ting so many requests come in that I ended up way over-booking us,” Ambler says.

“For two months we were out and we didn’t have trans­porta­tion lined up or any­thing. It was snow­balling way out of con­trol. So we ended up get­ting our friend who’s a book­ing agent to help us out.

“It’s pretty much destroyed my entire life,” he laughs, patho­log­i­cally. “So, there’s that. When you’ve been tour­ing for a year, you’re like ‘I can’t bear to travel any­more.’ I have so much anx­i­ety and men­tal health issues that I’m deal­ing with. And we’re all deal­ing with being with each other so constantly.”

Given that Per­fect Pussy is, in essence, a syn­the­sis of sev­eral dis­tinct per­son­al­i­ties, Say Yes To Love hints at sev­eral direc­tions the band could pur­sue in the future. For instance, there’s signs of tech­ni­cal hard­core (a la early Dillinger Escape Plan), no wave-indie (a la early Sonic Youth) and more acces­si­ble post-hardcore (a la latter-day Fugazi). Mean­while, Ambler says that work­ing on a fol­low up isn’t the num­ber one pri­or­ity just yet.

“What we’re try­ing to do now is focus on other projects and fig­ure out where our own indi­vid­ual strengths lie. We talk about how we’re going to write another record even­tu­ally, but at this time it’s fuck­ing impos­si­ble to think about get­ting together to do some­thing like that and how it would even turn out. It would be so much dif­fer­ent than what this band is in a nut­shell – which is this beau­ti­ful disaster.

“Like I said, it’s five very dif­fer­ent peo­ple being led in very dif­fer­ent direc­tions by our indus­try and it’s become harder and harder for us to over­lap. We’re all cir­cles, but the coolest thing about this band is where our cir­cles over­lap. That’s the tiny space where we all agree. Those have become fewer and far­ther between as this year’s progressed.”

OK, so per­haps we shouldn’t get ahead of our­selves and expect another record of thrilling orig­i­nals, post-haste. The fact remains; Say Yes To Love is a convention-defying punk rock record that stands on its own two feet. Thank­fully, fol­low­ing a cou­ple of months break from the road, Per­fect Pussy will cruise down to Aus­tralia for next year’s Laneway Fes­ti­val. The men­tion of this trip sparks gen­uine enthu­si­asm in Ambler.

“I’m so excited to go to Aus­tralia. After we take a lit­tle bit of time off it’ll be cool to come over and maybe have fun play­ing music again.

Per­fect Pussy will be tour­ing Aus­tralia as a part of the Laneway Fes­ti­val. You can find out more at www.lanewayfestival.com.