SXSW Live Shot: Perfect Pussy

Not exactly sweet – more like unhinged – but short, too brief

For most bands, following the innards-churning blast wave of Destruction Unit would be a fool’s errand. Syracuse, NY, quintet Perfect Pussy at least appeared to have the elements in place to make it a contest on Friday.

Photo by Shelley Hiam

Moreover, they had an extra weapon in genuinely magnetic frontwoman Meredith Graves. Her extra courteous pre-show gratitude to the soundman during line check stood in remarkable contrast to her screaming, flailing performance aesthetic.

As the band crashed through successive waves of noise-rock madness throttled up by hardcore velocity, Graves screamed into the mic with visibly fevered passion. Although her lyrics on the band’s new Say Yes to Love EP are both personal and poignant, you couldn’t hear a word Graves sang. You didn’t need to.

Like Destruction Unit, Perfect Pussy has a member dedicated to augmenting feedback-sodden guitar riffs with a tableful of electronic geegaws. From this, Shawn Sutkus engineered a squall of noise, standing at the side of the stage and turning knobs like a lab technician as the rest of the band threw themselves about with abandon.

Then suddenly, without warning, it was over. If you subtracted the passages where the band simply reveled in distortion, the set lasted about 10 minutes. The audience seemed flummoxed by the abrupt ending for good reason.

Unlike the Dwarves, Perfect Pussy couldn’t make their case in just one scene. There’s a lot to be said for brevity, but this was more akin to dropping your ice cream cone in the gravel after one lick.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Perfect Pussy, SXSW Music 2014, Meredith Graves, Shawn Sutkus, Dwarves, Destruction Unit

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