Mannequin Pussy – Perfect

Mannequin Pussy has been through a lot since their previous release. The onset of the pandemic came just after they released their critically acclaimed LP in Patience. Not only did it take a hit on the band’s momentum but it also affected their lineup with one of the founding members of the band leaving. Thankfully, in their 2021 EP Perfect  we see them able to keep up and show us they’re in tip top shape. This five-song collection doesn’t break any new ground for Mannequin Pussy, but what it does is solidify and refine their punk rock sound while proving their consistency.

There’s a theme duality that envelops the songs in Perfect. It’s an offering that alternates between blistering punk and heartfelt songs, and exhibits the wide range of sound the band skillfully manages. These emotions alternate through the first track “Control”. One that starts with a subdued melody which then abruptly shifts into raging fervor. Straddling between the line of order and chaos, lead singer Marisa Dabice tries to figure out where she stands. “I’m in control / That’s what I tell myself”, a sentiment that mirrors the struggle to keep up in a world that’s changing faster than ever.

“Perfect” follows with the rage and frustration of only being isolated in the pandemic. Exploring the complications of being forced to only meet people on social media and the unhealthy emotions that come out of it. A mix of desperation and lashing out at the vanity of it all can be heard in pressurized form through this one minute banger. 

“To Lose You” shifts the energy again into more pop-emo-rock territory, with Dabice’s soaring vocals and its punchy yet vulnerable chords headlining the emotions of the song.

“Pigs Is Pigs” takes punk into the butcher/torture chamber with its clamoring industrial textures and heart-racing pace. This song channels all the rage and frustration that’s sparked the Black Lives Matter and police reform movement. “Don’t want to be lost in the nice / Don’t want to be caught in the void.” A tantalizing punk anthem that calls for the people to stand up for what’s right.

Despite totaling at five tracks and running at fourteen minutes long, this EP feels varied enough that I somehow feel the satisfaction of a complete album after listening. The EP ends with the slow-burning “Darling”. A soft and sweet send-off with enchanting melodies and uplifting moods. Mannequin Pussy proves with their latest offering that they’re here to stay, igniting a new and bright chapter for the Philadelphia punk rockers.

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