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March 19th, 2014 KAITIE TODD | Music Stories
 

Perfect Pussy: Saturday, March 22

If the name makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry: This buzzing New York punk band is already set to self-destruct.

music_perfectpussy_4020Ray McAndrew (second from right) and Perfect Pussy. - IMAGE: Drew Reynolds
Perfect Pussy is a band with an expiration date. Or so says Ray McAndrew, guitarist for the Syracuse, N.Y., noise-punk band, which, for the past six months, has been gaining national attention for its distortion-heavy sound and brutally honest lyrics.

“When we first started this band, we were like, ‘We’re not going to do this for more than two years,’” says McAndrew by phone from a gas station somewhere in Texas. “Or ‘two records in two years’—that was the lifespan of the band.”

McAndrew acknowledges this is still the planned trajectory for the band, despite the recent flurry of attention the quintet received for its first release, the EP I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling. Featuring intense bursts of drums and guitar-blazing distortion atop the vehement shouts of frontwoman Meredith Graves, the four-song demo tape caught the ears of The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork last year. Add the band’s controversy-courting name and an interview featuring incendiary comments about the Syracuse hardcore scene, and you’d think the group wouldn’t be caught so surprised by all the attention, But McAndrew says the buzz surrounding Perfect Pussy caught the members off guard.

“It was like four songs that people were just posting about, and it didn’t make any sense to me,” he says. “It still doesn’t.”

Originally formed by Graves, bassist Greg Ambler and drummer Garrett Koloski for a one-shot appearance in the indie flick Adult World, Perfect Pussy decided to continue after filming wrapped. The trio added McAndrew and synth player Shaun Sutkus early last year, before self-recording and releasing its EP. Following the success of that first release, the band signed with revered New York indie label Captured Tracks to put out a full-length album, Say Yes to Love, which the members wrote and recorded in a week.

“After we had gotten all that attention for a demo tape, we were kind of rushing to put something else out because we had such a limited catalog,” McAndrew says. “I’m happy with how it turned out; I think it sounds great. But I wish we had had a little bit more time.”

McAndrew wrote most of the songs, along with Koloski—the two previously played together in another Syracuse rock band, Sswampzz. Graves added her intensely personal lyrics last, finishing the night before the band went into the studio. The result is a frenetic, 23-minute rush of high-pitched distortion, with a little more clarity than I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling. The group aimed for that higher fidelity to make its ideas come across more clearly.

Perfect Pussy is preparing to tour Europe and Australia this summer, and will release another album down the road, “whenever we feel like it has to happen,” McAndrew says. The band’s future, beyond that, is uncertain.

“I don’t think we could really do it for more than two years,” he says. “I think that anyone who works on a project for that long is just faking it after a while. At least for art or music or something like that, you just get bored with something after a while. I want to move on to something else.”


SEE IT: Perfect Pussy plays Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th Ave., with Long Knife, Raw Nerves and Rotties, on Saturday, March 22. 8 pm. $7. All ages.

 
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