Perfect Pussy @ Northcote Social Club

It was a classic Thursday evening in Northcote, hanging in the gutter sucking down Vic stubbies with art felicis’ elegant gigs manager, Laura. And with every drop, we got more and more keen for Perfect Pussy. The noise-punk outfit, hailing from Syracuse, New York, are currently in the country for the legendary Laneway Festival to give you a big serving of their harsh and abrasive signature sounds. Hobbling along to the wonderful Northcote Social Club, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing. It was definitely time for a noise-punk show.

Opening up the night, Melbourne experimental noise musician Todd Anderson-Kunert showcased some very interesting material, melding together a dark sort of ebb and flow of samples and synths. Do check out his soundcloud, maybe with a visualiser on your laptop. Next up were Exhaustion, whose lo-fi and intense style of punk set the pace of the night. Check them out here.

The last support band Ausmuteants were fucking great. They had an explosive sound of all down-stroked guitar punk that felt traditional in focus without being derivative or boring. Particularly, I enjoyed the performance of the front-man who had this lankiness and intensity going on.

Finally, Perfect Pussy took to the stage. The first thing notable about the set was the stage presence of vocalist, Meredith Graves. Her fierce eyes and stance on stage dominated the room. Her voice was loud and aggressive, while controlled and meaningful in the context of the music. At points she ducked down in this sort of trance-like state and then exploded back into singing. Then between songs, you just hear a sweet-voiced woman say ‘Thank you’.

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The instrumentation of the band was again fantastic. Some seriously punishing guitar riffs chaotically rolled over noisey low down electronic elements, while a consistently on point drummer and bassist gave the pulse needed for the music to succeed. Meanwhile, all of this retained a nice indie-rock vibe to it which was completely surprising. I would have liked to have seen a longer set, but in retrospect a shorter length kind of added to the ‘punch in the face’ shock of the music. Each song blasted into the next and the energy of the band didn’t subside for a moment. Even in the last few minutes of the set, where just electronic sounds were coming from the stage, every member of the band remained a presence. To be honest, pretty much all expectations of one of the most hyped punk bands in recent memory were met.

If you’ve done the smart thing and bought a Laneway ticket for one of the remaining dates, I suggest you go and check them out. Probably bring a bottle of water too.

THE BREAKDOWN

Hometown: Syracuse, New York City.
Latest LP: Say Yes to Love, released March 18, 2014.
Sounds Like: Teen Suicide meets Crass meets Alice Glass meets Surfer/Skate Indie punk/rock. I dunno.
Say what? Perfect Pussy tour fucking hard. They once did 48 shows in 55 days. What?

Deaf, cold and drunk, Leo signing off.

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