There, I said it.
Gratuitous? Well, that’s kinda the point, for Nashville Pussy is provocation personified. In fact, the band has conjured an entire career out of little more than titillation and bravado. As for the actual music, any number of labels suffice: redneck rock, biker boogie, white-trash cowpunk, Southern-fried scum metal. Granted, a tag is nothing more than an invitation to take a whiff. Once you stick your nose in deep, you can determine if it really passes the smell test.
But in this case, the Pussy does indeed reek of all of the above.
In the late ’90s, the group’s raunchier-than-thou, AC/DC-meets-Skynyrd shtick, packaged in a live show suitable for softcore porn, garnered a rabid following and even a Grammy nomination. Then-bassist Corey Parks—a 6’3” former model who wore leopard-skin bras and sported an “Eat Me” tatt a hair north of the cooch—would tongue-kiss guitarist Ruyter Suys onstage then throat-fuck her with a beer bottle. The shows would end shortly after Parks jumped into the crowd and belched a mushroom cloud of fire at fleeing fans.
Not surprisingly, the spectacle tended to overshadow the music. Which, to be honest, was probably for the best: an actual pussy can fart better melodies.
A decade and a half after the group’s debut, the lineup has changed, but the music hasn’t. Gone are the pyrotechnics and lesbian peepshow, but the sentiment is still orgy-cum-bar fight.
Tonight, the grease and grime of the band’s studio work are faithfully reproduced in concert. The quartet runs through highlights from all six of its LPs (“Go Motherfucker Go,” “Struttin’ Cock,” “Keep On Fuckin’,” “Good Night For A Heart Attack,” “I’m So High,” “Rub It To Death” and a dozen more shit-kickers). In the closest that Nashville Pussy gets to “sensitive” (the slow-yet-muscular “Go To Hell”), the band tacks on a few verses from the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.” The two songs dovetail seamlessly, which isn’t exactly a recommendation for either.
To be fair, such music should not be judged on its artistic merits but rather on its effect on the listener. Nashville Pussy speaks directly to our basest desires: taking drugs, getting laid, making noise and beating the hell out of those who done us wrong. The band preaches a hedonist gospel, and it’s hard not to testify.
“How many of you are high tonight?” asks lead singer Blaine Cartwright. “I heard this is a stoner club.” With that clever setup, the group launches into—wait for it—“High As Hell.”
Ah, out of the mouths of babes. And out of the lips of Pussy.