Mannequin Pussy – Patience

Has Mannequin Pussy made the best rock album of this summer? 

Patience? Why? Forget about that Guns ‘N Roses ballad. Now put on this Mannequin Pussy record crank up your volume and press play or drop that needle: let’s GO! 

Mannequin Pussy is a Philadelphia based punk rock band who have been active since 2010. Their self released cassette only debut, GP (2014), was hard and fast. Song titles such as ‘Clit Eastwood’, ‘Meatslave’ and ‘Pissdrinker’ give away something of the band’s attitude at the time. On their follow up Romantic (2016) the band still was loud and still fitted the riot grrl punk scene, however the band also touched other more accessible genres such as shoegaze and alternative rock. Now their third release is named Patience and continues the transformation of Mannequin Pussy to an all round rock outfit that is able to produce a very warm rock sound on the surface but under the surface still is strongly connected to band’s loud beginnings.

Although Patience is the most accessible of the three it still is a thrilling ride starts directly with the fast pumping title track. At first it slightly reminds of Sonic Youth but deceivingly enough progresses into catchy rock track. The catchiness of ‘Patience’ is extended on ‘Drunk II’ which with four and a half minutes claims almost one fifth of the albums playing time. On this song Mannequin Pussy plunges us into a bath of shoegaze while lead singer Marisa Dabice recalls a bad break up through nights of drunkenness: “I push it down. I drink to drown. I am alone.” The power cords however reign again on ‘Cream’ with Dabice screaming in their midst. 

Mannequin Pussy’s most quiet track (ever) is ‘Fear/+/Desire’. Here and later with ‘High Horse’ and ‘Who You Are’ the album seems to fall apart. ‘Fear/+/Desire’ and ‘Who You Are’ which in particular have that typical Nada Surf pop-punch over it. Lyrically Dabice however addresses a very painful theme of a physically abusive relationship on this set of songs. The slow ‘High Horse’ provides the most horrifying image. Here Dabice sings: “[…] Pushing me up against the kitchen sink. I feel your breath on me, I can taste it in my teeth”. As the gaze of guitars surge her voice erupts: “I fucked up, how many times will you beg me to?”, she screams. Dabice emotionally sings about pretending that she’s fine when she’s most definitely is not.

Of course there is still a lot of pushpit material available on Patience.Drunk I’ is a 54 second hate spitting bombardment addressing the aforementioned break-up. Also ‘Clams’ and  ‘F.U.C.A.W.’ grip you by the throat. ‘Clams’ is a short verse trading punk standard while ‘F.U.C.A.W.’ is a fast hardcore song whith a rancorous howling Dabice: ”What did you say to me, boy? Come on and spit it in my face. Who the fuck you talkin’ to, boy? Come on, spit, spit, spit, spit, spit”.

If you’re attentive enough you quickly hear that Patience is more than a straight up punk album. To be more precise Patience is a ‘break-up album’ in which Dabice takes a deep look in the mirror and isn’t afraid to look away from all the ugliness that comes along with these life changing experiences. Mannequin Pussy’s third is a record in which a punk band becomes a rock band. Patience will certainly triple their plays on streaming services because it’s a very well rounded rock album. Yet they’re still enough rough edges to keep things really interesting.

Label: Epitaph, 2019

Tracklist: 

  1. Patience (2:12)
  2. Drunk II (4:28)
  3. Cream (1:55)
  4. Fear/+/Desire (3:35)
  5. Drunk I (0:53)
  6. High Horse (2:58)
  7. Who You Are (2:32)
  8. Clams (0:38)
  9. F.U.C.A.W. (2:05)
  10. In Love Again (4:18)

Further surfing:
Official site
Mannequin Pussy on Bandcamp

Review by Wander Meulemans // 170719

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