Gig Review: Perfect Pussy

perfect pussy bandWho: Perfect Pussy

Where: Northcote Socialclub, Melbourne

When: January 29th 2015

This review originally appeared on Tonedeaf.com.au

Before one of the most hyped bands in recent memory took to the stage, a smattering of people witnessed a short but sonically brutal set from noise experimentalists Exhaustion. The band, made up of Duncan Blachford; guitar/vox, Per Bystrom; drums and Richard Stanley; bass, were also joined by recent addition Mark Barrage on electronics.

Every note was accompanied by endless amounts of ear splitting reverb, as the foursome seemed hell bent on sounding like a distorted fighter jet engine, which had had a run in with an overzealous cement mixer, in the midst of a jumbo sized blender on full speed!

During ‘Lonely Car’, Blachford’s howling vocal was at times not too dissimilar to Sloth from TheGoonies, as it continually lost out to the group’s bombastic output. The rhythm section of Bystrom and Stanley were linked in such a seamless manner, especially throughout ‘Silver Fog’, though at times it felt like they were on a different musical tangent to their frontman.

Next up was Geelong synth-punk enthusiasts Ausmuteants, who have been garnering positive feedback since the release of their third record Order of Operation. Due to guitarist Shaun Connor having broken his arm he was forced to move onto keyboard duties and it was left to 16 year old Zane Gardner to fill the gap.

They blasted through their mix of keyboard heavy and fuzzy guitar sounds during opener ‘Boiling Point’, which set the tone for their short but livewire-like performance. The older of the Gardner’s – Billy – then bashed seven shades of shit out of his kit during ‘Frandreschers Alien Abduction’.

There was a hint of Mark E. Smith about front man Jake Robertson during ‘Publicity Stunts’ as he spat out the line;“people love conflict/people love arguments/people hate melodies/people hate harmonies”. The excellent ‘Freedom of Information’ then saw Connor taking over the task of vocalist, which went down a storm.

The crowd numbers had swelled drastically by the time keyboardist Shaun Sutkus took to the stage, a few minutes before the rest of Perfect Pussy, where he produced a sound not too dissimilar to brown noise. The remaining members then started into a feedback assault that continued for the duration for their succinct set.

With their debut album Say Yes to Love clocking in at only 23 minutes and their four track EP I Have all Desire for Feeling lasting half that time again, it’s no wonder Perfect Pussy don’t mess about when it comes to performing live. They are without question an aggressive sounding collective, with elements of punk and SST-era hardcore prevalent throughout their rather full throttled assault.

perefect pussy live shot

Pic taken by Katie Fairservice https://twitter.com/deedee_magee

Front woman Meredith Graves was dressed as though she was an extra from Little House on the Prairie; however any thoughts of angelic behaviour being forthcoming went right out the window as soon as she opened her mouth on ‘Driver’.

It was as if Graves was possessed by a tormented Tasmanian devil who had a grudge against anyone and everyone.

The guitar playing of Ray McAndrew reached ear piercing levels during ‘II’, while the floorboards of the venue seemed to bounce in unison with the over eager fans in the first few rows.

Each song blended into the next, while Graves’ lyrics were completely unintelligible throughout and in fact she’d give Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham a run for his money in that department. Apart from wishing a friend a happy birthday and commenting on how nice the crowd was, just before final number ‘Advance Upon the Real’, Graves’ focus was purely on her performance. Her energy levels were evident for all to see, as she flailed around the stage taking up various positions, as she attacked the mic again and again, with vigor and fury.

Are Perfect Pussy the saviours of modern punk rock? Only time will tell, but they ended their set with Garrett Koloski casually taking apart his kit piece by piece, as McAndrew’s repetitive distortion levels entered even louder dimensions and Graves remained hunched over until the tempo finally slowed down to a low buzzing sound.

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