Perfect Pussy Report Card

NXNE ’14 Report Card: Perfect Pussy @ Horseshoe Tavern

Friday, June 20. Perfect Pussy deliver the meltdown NXNE, turning their set into a noisy protest against fate and sound.

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- Jun 21, 2014

Background/Composition: Perfect Pussy are a punk band from Syracuse with a ton of hype and a reputation for short, gut-punch live sets. People were expecting something and they got it. Every festival needs a meltdown, and this was definitely it.

Perfect Pussy - "I" (Oaf - icial Video)

The Best Laid Plans...: D

The organizers of the stacked bill at the Horseshoe were obviously anticipating a "typical" Perfect Pussy set - 15 minutes, in and out, only a couple blown eardrums to show for it. So they scheduled for that, throwing the big secret guest, Spoon, on just half an hour after them. But you can't predict unpredictability.

Omens: B-

They hadn't even started playing their first song when things started to go sour. The bass head blew and, despite their motioning to staff, no one seemed to be doing anything about it. At first the band seemed like they'd be able to diffuse the situation with humour: "I don't know how to ask for help," said lead singer Meredith Graves, playing off her "confessional" persona. "That seems to be a recurring theme in my life. How honest can I be in front of a group of strangers?"

Perfect Pussy // "Driver"

Temper Control: F

We got about 8 minutes of the furious riffing, noise and chaos of a Perfect Pussy set before things reached a boiling point. Things wouldn't cooperate and Greg Ambler lost it, violently smashing his bass against the stage. But the band didn't leave. Instead, Graves, looking physically distressed, yelped, breathed and chanted into the microphone, slowly sinking further down onto the stage. Shaun Sutkus turned his table of pedals and samplers into a noisy protest machine, letting the feedback grow into a fever pitch while fans in the front row lifted the broken bass (at his point in two parts) above the crowd like a sacrifice. Eventually, Horseshoe staff had enough and escorted the band offstage. If they hadn't, who knows how long it might've continued?

Festival Experience: A

So it wasn't perfect, wasn't even good, but it was memorable. At a buffet festival like NXNE, sometimes that's the best thing you can ask for.

FINAL GRADE: D+

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