“We recorded a demo, threw it up online and forgot about it. Then, out of the blue, some music media outlets heard it and passed it around. Within days, it was all over the Internet after sitting quietly by itself for months. Things started to get very real.”
Meredith Graves, lead singer for Syracuse, New York’s Perfect Pussy, isn’t kidding.
Listening to the 26-year-old talk about her noisenik quintet’s surprise 2013 hit “I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling,” it’s hard to recall another band, especially one so brazenly non-commercial, enjoying this kind of meteoric rise — much less from a lo-fi cassette EP recorded on a lark.
It’s not just an underground phenomenon, either. Decidedly un-punk publications like Rolling Stone and The New York Times have spilled ink on the group. They’re currently touring behind their debut full-length, “Say Yes to Love” (Soundposts review here), and headline The Vera Project Monday — their first Seattle show. They’ve been together less than a year.
Like any overnight success, Perfect Pussy isn’t without its detractors. Some have called the band’s name and attitude gratuitous, scoffing at aesthetic decisions like Graves mixing her own menstrual blood into the translucent-vinyl first pressing of the LP.
The frontwoman insists these people are jumping to conclusions.
“They hypothesize that we’re some public relations construct, but we’re genuinely just a band from a small town… five friends plucked out of the ether to have a singular, bizarre experience, traveling and playing punk rock.”
On “Say Yes,” the group adds a thicker layer of harsh noise to its already chaotic tangle of keyboards, drums and high-gain guitars — the melodies are submerged below the din, but they’re there — engulfing breathless, frenzied vocals.
Of synth player and chief noisemaker Shaun Sutkus, “I don’t even know what he’s doing.” Graves laughs. But she doesn’t question it. “Asking him would be like asking David Blaine. I don’t bother him about it.”
For Perfect Pussy, this off-the-cuff approach is fundamental. They wrote, recorded and mixed the entire eight-song album in a week.
“Everything we do is rushed,” says Graves. “We like it that way.”
They’ve yet to reach a consensus on what style of music they actually play, however.
“I think we’re absolutely a hardcore band — we play loud, fast and short — but Shaun insists we’re not. He says we’re an emo band. I think we’re emo, hardcore, classical, spoken-word, New Wave, chillwave, powerviolence. It doesn’t matter.”
Graves is right. Any group churning out such risk-taking sounds this early in its career merits attention — regardless of genre.Perfect Pussy, Future Fridays
7:30 p.m. Monday at The Vera Project, 305 Warren Ave. N., Seattle; $9 (206-956-8372 or theveraproject.org)