Pre-order of Bless, Bless, Bless, Bless. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Perfume V’s creative architect Mac Pogue tells me over email that his band’s upcoming release, Bless, Bless, Bless, Bless is “indebted to the Ovens, early Pavement releases, Teenage Cool Kids, Spit-Take, the Lemonheads and Thin Lizzy.” It’s a hefty, though spot-on, RIYL. (Which makes sense: Pogue moonlights as a critic.) BBBB brings to mind the Ovens’ and Thin Lizzy’s guitar pyrotechnics, Pavement and Teenage Cool Kids’ disorienting, mumble-mouthed indie rock, and The Lemonheads’ pining, pure-pop wistfulness, often in the course of a single song.
Which is not to say that Perfume V is merely the sum of its influences. On BBBB—which is set for release sometime in the summer on the Olympia, WA-based Reflective Tapes—Pogue has perfected his own unique strain of punk-hued pop. The project’s tuneful sensitivities are contrasted with an appetite for destruction: dainty opener “School Fight Song” erupts into a tempest of shrill feedback; on late ‘90s/early ‘00s pop-punk homages “Spinning Out” and “Wouldn’t You Like To Know,” Pogue cheekily perverts Blink-caliber hooks with his deadpan, obstinately off-kilter vocal delivery. Conversely, BBBB’s high-octane weirdness is tempered by glimpses of unequivocal beauty: Classical guitar interlude “Motel Room” evokes the lonesomeness of its namesake only slightly less than (Big Star’s version of) Loudon Wainwright III’s “Motel Blues,” and the aching, shoe-gazing twee-dirge “Negative Smiths” proves that the project’s prettier, straighter songs are just as worthwhile as its more frenzied efforts.
Pogue debuted Perfume V as more or less a solo endeavor last October with the Demonstration One EP, although the project has since expanded into a full band. Rounding out Pogue on guitar and vocals are Alex Beyer on guitar, Sonia Weber on drums and Mambo Lennon on bass.
Although originally from Northern California, and currently en route to New Mexico from Portland, Pogue’s material feels firmly grounded in Pacific Northwestern tradition, at least philosophically—BBBB is approachable without forsaking musical competency; it feels like Something You Could Do, Too, even if it might not be. This quaintness is reflected in the album’s lyrical content: “Most of these songs are snapshots of friendships, remembered both fondly and not,” Pogue tells me. Perfume V might not be the first band to marry pop instincts to unkempt punk ordinariness—but Bless, Bless, Bless, Bless is a welcome reminder that it’s still a match made in heaven.
- Mo Troper
releases July 28, 2017
alex plays guitar
max plays guitar and sings
sonia plays drums
mambo plays bass
recorded at the school of rock, a storage space on division and the sunset motel