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Harry Pussy

You'll Never Play This Town Again


Reissue of Harry Pussy's Ride A Dove, originally released on Siltbreeze in 1996. "By 1996, with one LP, a handful of 7"s, and a couple dozen gigs under their collective belts, Harry Pussy had thoroughly scrambled the mid-90s scuzz-rock ecosystem. Their acclaimed first LP, described by David Keenan as 'a black hole that devoured genre and flattened any attempt to classify it,' fused Japanese noise, '80s hardcore and post-Ayler jazz into a dense, white-hot ball of punk anger and insanity. The band's newly expanded trio lineup of Bill Orcutt, Adris Hoyos and Mark Feehan toured with Dead C, Sebadoh, and Sonic Youth. Thurston played their video on MTV's 120 Minutes. Nirvana gave them shout outs. Everyone expected the sophomore Harry Pussy LP would be more of the same, a logical next step, a synapse-melting punk orgasm that would shatter the coke-bottle spectacles of noise stoners, record store clerks, and college radio DJs across the USA. Instead, we got Ride A Dove: a 30-minute, tempo-less, musique concrète collage of feedback, whiny Sonic Youth fans, overdriven room tone, hijacked jungle beats, unhinged screaming, and the near-constant squall of the self-oscillating low-pass filter on Orcutt's Korg MS-20. Recorded on Sony Walkman and Tascam Portastudio, mixed through a RAT distortion pedal, then chopped and scrambled with SoundEdit 16, it took to new heights the Siltbreeze tradition of terrorizing mastering engineers by burying everything with shitty post-production (cf. Jim Shepard's Radio Shack reverb on his Picking Through the Wreckage With a Stick LP).

Thanks to the single unbanded groove on each side (and similarly unindexed CD), the relationship of Ride A Dove's 'songs' to its listed song titles -- which allude to Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees, and most of all, Black Flag, whose 'Rise Above' is echoed by the malaprop of the album title -- was decidedly obscure. One might be forgiven for characterizing this career anti-move as a simple challenge, an 'ok, sell THIS' to an unsuspecting distributor -- Matador Records, who surely had no idea what they were getting into when they scooped up Siltbreeze for a manufacturing and distribution deal -- or to fans naively anticipating simple catharsis. Rather, Ride A Dove is an intensely personal document of a disintegrating marriage and band; a snapshot of an era when noise groups were unexpectedly emerging from complete darkness into mere shadow; a diary of questionable decisions regarding marital fidelity and drug consumption. It's a raw, vulnerable record that is more Rumours (1977) than Metal Machine Music (1975). In the aftermath of Ride A Dove, and the near-apocalyptic Harry Pussy/Shadow Ring/Charalambides tour that followed it, life went on. Bill and Adris split up, guitarist Mark Feehan decamped, and Harry Pussy soldiered on for a few more records, including the sleeper double LP Let's Build a Pussy (EMEGO 146LP), which perhaps stands closer to Ride A Dove's high-register wail and conceptual monomania than any other of the band's recordings. As for Ride A Dove itself, the intervening decades has made it almost fashionable, yet harshly adorned in a raggedness that's as cozy as a fiberglass sweater." --Tom Carter Adris Hoyos - drums; Bill Orcutt - guitar; Mark Feehan - guitar.

Cat. number: PAL-069 2LP
Year: 2023