Harry Pussy

Harry Pussy

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In a 1995 interview, Harry Pussy frontwoman Adris Hoyos captured the essence of her earsplitting vocal style and tyrannical stage presence: "Very primitive. Singing from the soul. No, I'm joking. My persona is more like this wild crazy woman who's letting out this huge force that people are scared of. Which is a joke because it's not the real me. But in a way it is." The quote perfectly encapsulates the band's sleight of hand with the noise music genre -- hiding their seriousness behind a facade of doublespeak. The ultimate sonic terrorists, Harry Pussy filtered the Circle Jerks' brutal attack through Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch and condensed it into a narrow, high-pitched assault. This, their first full-length release on the Philly Siltbreeze label, captures nine freeform noise ruptures that seem to be improvised, but as the band later claimed, were actually a result of careful planning. Hoyos pounds the drums with the same fervor she approaches the mic, as Bill Orcutt's guitar blasts a continual, ever-shifting array of squeals and cathartic agonies. Typical noise techniques but with atypical results. One never gets a feeling that the assault is meant to be an attack on the listener -- that is, an act perpetrated on an unwilling listener. There's a distance to all of Harry Pussy's recordings, a distance that makes it seem like they're screaming, not at you, but into a modern and all-encompassing void. While serious about breaking down the world through sound, they do it with a gun to their own heads, not yours. Except for their 1996 live album, this is their rawest and most exquisite recording.

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