Mannequin Pussy

Patience

Epitaph

Jul 04, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Mannequin Pussy has always known how to make a stellar noise out of rage. The Philadelphia four-piece debuted its punk fury with 2014's Gypsy Pervert (also known simply as GP), but its follow up Romantic, two years later, showed the band becoming more diverse, fleshing out some of its more melodic tendencies and exposing itself as not just angry outsiders but rather musicians who wanted to ensure that the full breadth of their talents was showcased. Angry punk was only one part of the equation, which now more than ever featured elements of straight-ahead rock, shoegaze, and pop.

Signing to Epitaph for the band's third full-length, Mannequin Pussy shows that its diversification was not limited to Romantic. Patience finds the band at its most expansive, perfectly balancing its raw power with a gentler pop. From the first two tracks on Patience, one might fear that the Mannequin Pussy of old was all but gone. The album's opener, its title track, is a melody that zigs between frantic and fragile, all wrapped in a fast tempo, and "Drunk II" is a medium paced rocker that features J Mascis-like guitar soloing over the song's final minute. Elsewhere, "Fear/+/Desire" is an easy melody over a wall of shoegaze guitars, and "High Horse" alters between the almost Mazzy Star-esque in gauzy, ethereal sound and a furious guitar-fueled rage, guitarist/vocalist Marisa Dabice singing of an abusive relationship.

But the Mannequin Pussy of old is by no means gone. The two-minute "Cream" finds Dabice screaming like she did on the best songs on GP. "Drunk I" is 54 seconds of driving guitar and holler, and similar with the even shorter 39-second "Clams." The album's penultimate track, "F.U.C.A.W." opens with Dabice's confrontational question, "What did you say to me, boy?!" over furious guitar hellscape.

Mannequin Pussy's strength these days is not only in its punk fury. While they still can do this with the best of them, Patience's most interesting moments are its most nuanced, setting a painful lyric against pop melody, altering between moods within songs, and simply embracing the melodic and harnessing it to whatever ends it desires. And as such, Mannequin Pussy truly has become a band to be reckoned with. (www.mannequinpussy.bandcamp.com

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