Say Yes to Love

Album Review of Say Yes to Love by Perfect Pussy.

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Say Yes to Love

Perfect Pussy

Say Yes to Love by Perfect Pussy

Release Date: Mar 18, 2014
Record label: Captured Tracks
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Punk/New Wave, Hardcore Punk, Punk Revival

78 Music Critic Score
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Say Yes to Love - Very Good, Based on 21 Critics

No Ripcord - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

I’ve spent a good couple of months with this record and I must have listened to it thirty times, and it hasn’t been a straightforward trip. Despite being full of anticipation after their no-fi screamtacular demo tape I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling, (which I had on repeat over autumn), Say Yes to Love initially disappointed me – only eight tracks in twenty-three minutes, a good chunk of which is an unabashedly indulgent avant-garde lowercase ambient interlude seemingly designed as a comment upon the album format. We can agree that a lot of our favourite music grows on us, right? Especially if you spend your first few listens to it in the background scrolling through Tumblr.

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musicOMH.com - 90
Based on rating 4.5
90

Punk is a dirty word. It can mean horror music, commercial pop, political agitation, edgy behaviour of any kind, fashion. It can mean an attitude, a sound, an ideology, a ‘look’. It has been used to describe Lydia Lunch AND Kate Nash. It has been sold to millions as an anti-authoritarian, non ….

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Pitchfork - 86
Based on rating 8.6/10
86

Syracuse five-piece Perfect Pussy sound like a hardcore band fronted by Joan of Arc: A swirling maelstrom of fire engulfs a singer who shouts with the ecstatic conviction of someone who would rather die than apologize. Following a searing, four-song demo tape released last year, their proper full-length debut Say Yes to Love is an unrelentingly intense experience—23 minutes of five people pushing themselves to their absolute limit. Frontwoman Meredith Graves has called the band's songs "happy revelations about incendiary events," and this remains the most fitting description of their music.

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Paste Magazine - 85
Based on rating 8.5/10
85

What’s in a name? If you’re Perfect Pussy, there’s a lot. The Syracuse hardcore band started gathering its members at the top of 2012, right around the time that Pussy Riot rose to international eye level. The Russian punk-rock collective wasn’t the first band ever to use Pussy in its name, but it was the biggest, maybe ever, to thrust the reclamation of that negatively connoted, gendered word right into the face of the mainstream.

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Rolling Stone - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

"Since when do we say yes to love?" Meredith Graves yells halfway through her band's savagely awesome debut LP. These art-punk kids hail from Syracuse, New York, previously renowned for great bands like, well, none ever. But they rage with an emotional urgency that recalls Hüsker Dü or early Sleater-Kinney. Say Yes to Love is a heart-punch of an album – eight songs, 23 minutes – where the words are mostly buried under guitar feedback and synth squeals.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Last year’s debut cassette EP ‘I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling’ prompted a flurry of interest in this five-strong gang of hardcore enthusiasts from Syracuse, New York. As a statement of noisy intent and underground attitude it placed them at the squealier end of Parquet Courts’ ’zine scene, and this more optimistically-titled long-player rubber-stamps its promise.The fire and rage of opening track ‘Driver’ sets their trail blazing instantly. A wavering drone of feedback persists throughout; a rebellious attempt at melody.

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Exclaim - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Following the out-of-nowhere success of last year's EP I have lost all desire for feeling, Syracuse, NY's Perfect Pussy went into making this debut album with a much wider audience and, presumably, a larger budget. Rather than clean up their sound, however, the band have delivered another collection of ferocious noise rock punctuated by Meredith Graves' pissed-off yelling.The sonic clarity is improved somewhat, but it's still messy as hell, meaning that Say Yes to Love sounds more like another demo than a proper album. But though this isn't the grand mission statement listeners might have expected from one of 2014's most hotly-tipped debuts, it's nonetheless a thrilling document of the group's manic punk energy.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Perfect Pussy's combustive, confrontational sound was so fully formed on their demo I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling that it seemed like their voice could only be diluted on a more widely released effort. However, they sound even more vital on their official debut, Say Yes to Love, offsetting any gains in fidelity with the sheer amount of noise packed into these songs. They use loudness as both a cloak and a dagger even more skillfully than before, alternately hiding behind and brandishing it on "Driver," where hissing static acts like a lit fuse before the song explodes.

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DIY Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Everything about Perfect Pussy is abrasive. Singer Meredith Graves yelps undying aggression over overdriven rhythms writhing with screeches; this is not an easy listen, but it’s definitely a rewarding one.With vocals smothered in distortion and dripping with menace, there’s no release from Perfect Pussy’s frighteningly tight grip. There’s a definitive feel to the unbridled noise on display on debut ‘Say Yes to Love’, mainly in that it channels many influences without ever letting them define the record.

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Consequence of Sound - 72
Based on rating B
72

Here’s the thing about being a woman: It’s not like you make the choice between aligning with your oppressors and staking your claim to resistance. There are no neat radio buttons labeled “feminist” and “not feminist” for you to click on. The world does not divide itself into Miley Cyrus and Riot Grrl. In between ideology and passivity, a dense and contradictory psychological tangle constantly tries to orient itself.

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Tiny Mix Tapes - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

If you were to judge the hype Perfect Pussy have garnered by the banner of their own lyrics, hyperbolic drones like me wouldn’t fare too well. Not that I want to overplay the Hype card here, since the New York quintet hasn’t really been around long enough to accumulate more than a few zine nods and a P4k interview, but being called “maybe the most important punk band to come out of” Syracuse since whoever is one fine way of polluting the appreciation of your music with the tiresome compulsion to recognize “importance. ” And in much the same vein, the life Meredith Graves sings about for the bulk of Say Yes to Love is one that has been confused and contaminated by overplayed romantic narratives, made pale by the very exaggerations and embellishments that claim to advocate it.

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Under The Radar - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

Since Russian punk collective Pussy Riot came to prominence for their arrest a couple of years ago, and with the fourth wave of feminism currently crashing against the patriarchal harbor wall (who doesn't love an overwrought metaphor?), there seems to have been welcome renewal of interest in riot grrrl, or whatever label you want to attach to it. In debut album Say Yes to Love, Syracuse punks Perfect Pussy have put out a scorching spearhead for the rejuvenated movement. .

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PopMatters - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

When Say Yes to Love, the debut LP by the Syracuse punk outfit Perfect Pussy, dropped into my inbox some weeks ago, I was taken aback. I was expecting the album to come in, so when I saw the subject line which contained the phrase “Perfect P____”, I knew immediately what it was. But, I wondered to myself, why the underline? Any band that names itself Perfect Pussy—and, more importantly, sounds like Perfect Pussy—isn’t one that goes out of its way to make compromises, especially with regards to censorship.

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Pretty Much Amazing
Their review was outstandingly favourable

opinion bySAMUEL TOLZMANN < @scatlint > I don’t know about you, but for me there’s sometimes just no defense. Some music sounds like the direct molten extract of the soul…or something. There’s always so much to be said about production and composition and execution and context, but it doesn’t always feel like it matters. Last year Autre Ne Veut’s Anxiety and Deafheaven’s Sunbather did a mean one-two on my view of the world and my ability to function in it, but trying to quantify that effect for you, the curious listener/reader, in terms of technicalities like “crescendo” and generalities like “vision” and “audacity” seems – not false, but inadequate.

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Fact Magazine (UK)
Their review was positive

In 2014, it would not be unfair to note, hardcore punk is pretty long in the tooth. It’s been 38 years since Greg Ginn and Keith Morris first knocked heads in a garage in Hermosa Beach, California, forming the band that would soon become known as Black Flag. To give an idea of the length of that yardstick, poke it out 38 years in the other direction and you’re prodding at Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

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The Line of Best Fit
Their review was positive

They’re not the first band in the world to have “pussy” in their name, so let’s not dwell on the moniker of Syracuse noise-punks Perfect Pussy. In fact, here’s singer Meredith Graves to explain: “After all this time I’ve spent being harsh on myself, it’s validating to finally be ready to turn a corner and say, “I’m perfect and I’m not going to go on thinking that I’m supposed to dislike myself.” It doesn’t mean I’m absolving myself of critique, it just means I’m not going to waste another fucking 10 minutes of my life not liking my body. It’s me being fucking stubborn.” There you are, get over it.

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Dusted Magazine
Their review was generally favourable

Perfect Pussy — Say Yes to Love (Captured Tracks)Maybe it’s my Southwest Bible Belt upbringing (read: Mormon, where I had to say “stinker,” not “fart”), but the word pussy has, in the parlance of 2005, always been up on a pedestal. I don’t think it’s me, though, as only octogenarians from Britain can get away with using it (about their cats, or willows, of course). In music, it’s used sparingly: Pussy Riot, Pussy Galore, Nashville Pussy, Harry Pussy and a handful of others.

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CMJ
Their review was generally favourable

The instant identifier of this Syracuse band’s bashing is singer Meredith Graves’ desperate, strangulated word-spitting. Her voice falls into the inspiring category of taking one’s limited range and making it your own style. Plus she’s already adept at casually shoving in emotionally diametric lines like “I’ve had a history of surrender” and “I’m so fucking happy now.” But the band is an equally desperate tornado of wirey guitar spasms and tumbling drums, revealing surprising shards of color amongst the blur, with lazer-eyed bass lines offering a fragment of focus.The opening track of this debut album, Driver, is a frantic whirlwind, and Graves’ burning pinwheel of verbiage only flames up higher as the album rolls.

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The A.V. Club
Their review was generally favourable

Perfect Pussy wasn’t an overnight success, even if its sudden rise from formation to buzz band may suggest it. Though its confrontational name probably drew a few curious glances from outside the hardcore scene, singer Meredith Graves had spent years sharpening her fangs in Shoppers, a band whose apocalyptic post-hardcore proved to be a fitting precursor to Perfect Pussy’s reverb-drenched attack. Perfect Pussy’s 2013 demo I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling was starkly washed out, with Graves’ vocals seeping into the music, creating a wall of sound that remained deeply emotive in spite of the band’s attempts to obscure them.

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cokemachineglow
Their review was unenthusiastic

Do you hear that? That hiss when you press the play button on your iPod, or CD player, or the little thumb-sized area approximating an actual button on the pane of glass that you use to interface with the massively powerful, pocket-sized computer you carry around with you at all times? Yeah, that hiss, at the beginning of Say Yes to Love? That hiss is the sound of authenticity. The sound of a little thing called tape. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Yeah, Pops, it still exists, and when a band releases an album on cassette, it keeps our melancholy spirits from floating away untethered into the decentralized, overdetermined, impersonal ether of the internet, anchoring us to the corporeal world once again, the physical world, the analog world, the communal—the Real.

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Austin Chronicle
Their review was unenthusiastic

Perfect Pussy Say Yes to Love (Captured Tracks) From the moment the needle drops on "Drive," Perfect Pussy's noise-punk masochism hits with the savage fury of a nail bomb going off in a junkyard. Yet deep beneath the wiry guitar feedback, gravel-kicking drum lurch, and cockpit voice recorder fidelity, vocalist Meredith Graves manages to project raw human emotion to the surface even when you can barely make out a word she says. Graves' high-end yowl taps elemental, gut-level discontentment, rendering neo-cortical frills like language nearly inconsequential.

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