Perfect Pussy

I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling

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After the demise of Shoppers, the noisy upstate New York punk trio Meredith Graves sang and played guitar in, she quickly returned as the frontwoman of new band Perfect Pussy. Though Perfect Pussy drew from the same anger and energy of hardcore that Shoppers did, there was a huge and immediately discernable difference between the two, with Graves' vocals and lyrics feeling far more urgent, ebullient, and central to the music, even when buried under waves of feedback. The first recorded evidence of the band's power came in spring of 2013 in the form of I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling, a four-song demo tape recorded live and sold at shows wrapped in Spartan black-and-white photocopied sleeves. Although punk by the numbers in presentation, the lo-fi, noise-soaked songs wove brittle melodies, textural songwriting, and Graves' crushingly honest lyrical sentiments into a wild hybrid of post-hardcore muscle and nods to both the sung/spoken poeticism of mid-'90s emo and the experimental bite of New York's early-'80s no wave scene. A slightly expanded vinyl reissue took the demo out of the hissy cassette realm in 2015, adding two tunes taken from a 2014 split single with fuzz-poppers Joanna Gruesome. Starting with the explosive "I," the band writhes with tuneful rage and an inventive song structure as Graves screams meditations on betrayal without any of the bitterness typically associated with it. The other songs rush by with similar ecstatic energy, with deeply compressed synth lines hidden under the fuzzy recording quality and overblown drums. Things slow to a trudge on the abrasive creepy second half of "IV" and pick up again with an only slightly more tin-can recording of the Sugarcubes' "Leash Called Love." Ugly, unrefined, and uncompromising, I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling perfectly captures Perfect Pussy's earliest moments in all their excitement and free of some of the self-awareness that colored their plenty noisy debut album, Say Yes to Love. Raw and extremely of-the-moment, these demos sound bigger and more captivating in their immediacy than most long-labored recordings come close to.

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