Before her band had played a single note, frontwoman Meredith Graves surveyed a thousands-strong crowd packing Stubb's BBQ at NPR Music's 2014 SXSW showcase. "We're Perfect Pussy," she said. "We're terrified." Listening to Say Yes to Love, the band's eight-song, 23-minute speedball of self-assured confrontation, fear is the last thing that springs to mind. From the band's polarizing name — intended, Graves has said, to force even Perfect Pussy's harshest critics to say something positive — to its largely inscrutable words, nothing about the group would suggest a note of hesitation or doubt. The Syracuse noise-punk band is only human, after all, but the rest of its visceral, chest-caving and often stunning 20-minute set wouldn't suggest as much. This is rock 'n' roll as an act of unfiltered, unfrightened aggression — by design, it forgoes nuance at every turn — but it never careens entirely out of control. By the end of Perfect Pussy's set, pre-show nerves were the last thing on anyone's mind.
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