Album Review

Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven

An album that delivers the band’s most concise sound yet whilst never taking itself too seriously.

Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven

Across three albums before, Philadelphia four-piece Mannequin Pussy gracefully jump between visceral fury and melodic breaks, but never more so than on the opening title-track for their fourth outing, ‘I Got Heaven’. Stepping forward from 2019’s seminal ‘Patience’ – an album that pushed the scuzzy punks towards a whole heap of new fans – their latest opens with a hypnotic blend of shoegaze against lead vocalist Marice Dabise’s snarls, a balance that plays out with remarkable consistency as the album bounds through the indie bliss of hushed ‘Nothing Like’ and the dual-vocal hardcore punk of ‘OK! OK! OK! OK!’. Predictability has eluded Mannequin Pussy for the best part of a decade, and even with ‘I Got Heaven’’s consistency, it remains as reluctant as ever to settle.

Having welcomed guitarist Maxine Steen into the fold full time and pulled together in a studio rather than across various bedrooms, the individual parts are fully elevated. Their brashness feels harsher and their melodies lighter, while the space in-between conjures up images of sunset dive bars and heavy smoke. Much like what has come before, Mannequin Pussy are cemented in time and place through a masterful storytelling that exists somewhere between lyric and sound. Their playfulness is underpinned by contradiction, the title-track pairing its lifting melody with religious discontent; ‘I Don’t Know You’ almost literally slides its guitars from ‘70s pop to ‘90s grunge with palpable delight, and closer ‘Split Me Open’ presents Marice’s complete resignation against a sucker punch of upbeat Britpop as she gleefully declares that “nothing’s gonna change.” It rounds out an album that delivers the band’s most concise sound yet whilst never taking itself too seriously, as Mannequin Pussy continue to dominate a world of their own creation.

Tags: Mannequin Pussy, Reviews, Album Reviews

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