Dear Syracuse noise-punk band Perfect Pussy: For someone out there, your name is apt. For me, though, adequate is more like it. I’d really like to say yes to your album, Say Yes to Love. As it stands right now, I’ll stick with “maybe.” I appreciate what you’re trying to do, and that, since this was all reportedly recorded in a week, you had precious little time to do it. With their staticky hisses, I like the rough rawness of songs like “Driver” and “Work.” Still, you sound formulaic: Vocalist Meredith Graves speak-sings incoherently over a wash of distortion, then launches into the same polished shriek she used the song before. It smacks of one-trick pony, and that’s hardly perfect. (M. Brianna Stallings)
The twangy, banjo-fied, mandolin-laced sound of Albuquerque-based Americana adherents The Porter Draw is in full effect on their forthcoming (April 4), self-titled release. While the genre itself can be self-limiting (The Grateful Dead), wildly expansive (CSN&Y) and even provocatively experimental (Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection), The Porter Draw demonstrates their command of the medium while proving there's still some life in the old horse after all. Track four of this recording, titled “Out on the Highway,” plays out as a classic tale of travel and redemption, while the group’s cover of Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” has a thin, reedy musicality and plaintive tone that tops The Boss’ muscular desperation. Closing out this record with honky-tonk anthem “Home Fries” was a fine choice; it gives the listener a clear idea of the craft it takes to fashion credible music around well-worn tradition. (August March)
JoyCut's press release boasts that they are Italy’s premier dark wave band. I had trouble believing as I began listening to their newest release, PiecesOfUsWereLeftOnTheGround. The first two tracks, “Wireless” and “Dominio,” have a much more Euro-electro feel with a bit of the old Krautrock thrown in for reference purposes, one supposes. That’s just fine because the third track, “IndividualRoutine” has plenty of spooky movements. After that are plenty of kinetic instrumentals to keep you guessing, genre-wise. For a while I was thinking Kraftwerk, but then I mused a bit about Stereolab, and even the Vangelis-driven Aphrodite’s Child floated around in my head as I continued to listen. One track in the middle titled “DarkStar” has some of the hard-driven grandiosity of early Floyd. Overall, this is reasonably derivative, but prolly lots of fun to blast while navigating the interstate. (August March)
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