REVIEW: Patience by Mannequin Pussy

By Aaron Richardson

Blending a classic Seattle grunge angst sound with upbeat poppy flair, Mannequin Pussy’s latest evolution with Patience is an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish.

Opening with the title track, “Patience”, you wouldn’t be mistaken if you double checked you were actually listening to a Mannequin Pussy record. Compared to say, Gypsy Pervert’s edgy and fairly sounding DIY tone, Patience as an album is a world away from the borderline Riot Grrrl vibes from the band’s previous records. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing as “Patience” opens up the record incredibly well.

That being said, despite the fairly upbeat instrumentals of the opening track, vocalist Marisa Dabice doesn’t refrain from opening up the wounds of past relationships with lyrics such as “Who told you, that my body was yours to own”, and “and after getting in my head, convinced poison was supposed to grow”, a theme which is present throughout the album.

“Drunk II”, which interestingly comes before “Drunk I”, continues this modern emo attack of upbeat instrumentals and punishing lyrics. With lyrics like “I was so fucked up I forgot we were broken up, I still love you, you stupid fuck”, and the chorus which continues to express Dabice’s emotional vulnerability that’s incredibly powerful.

For those wondering if Mannequin Pussy has ditched the hard-hitting punk edge, “Cream” certainly puts that thought to bed with hard-hitting instrumentals and powerful screams repeating the lyrics “I was standing in the gates of my hell”. While it’s not as rough as previous albums in terms of production, it’s much more coherent and pleasing to the ear. This is reflected later on in the record with tracks like “Drunk I”, a 53-second blast harkening back to Mannequin Pussy’s early days and Clams, which almost act as interludes.

After the audio baseball bat to the face, “Fear/+/Desire” takes things down a notch with a slightly more melodic and melancholic feel to it, but as we’ve learned with songs like “Patience” and “Drunk II”, those smacks to the face are still coming as Debice’s lyrics recall tales of violence and abuse.

“High Horse” almost feels like the climax of the album, a more dulcet tone, a ballad if you will, at least in context of an album that’s already taken us on a fairly emotional journey. While slow in execution, lyrics push us towards the end of what has been a rocky relationship with “Patience”. While it’s not the longest track on the album, “High Horse” does seem like a slight break, a calm before the storm.

Fortunately, things don’t end there, as the melancholic yet upbeat sound from earlier in the record returns with “Who You Are”. While it’s not as lyrically strong as previous songs, it does have a pretty enjoyable hook at the end as the song reaches its climax.

All of this emotion and vulnerability we’ve been witness too with the previous eight tracks has taken a turn with “F.U.C.A.W.” as Dabice is no longer taking any shit. Bringing back the raw heavy hitting sound found in tracks like “Drunk I” and “Cream”, it’s another Riot Grrrrl- like anthem as Dabice screams “What did you say to me boy? Come on and spit it in my face Who the fuck you talking to boy?”

Overall, Mannequin Pussy’s Patience is a fantastic blend of indie/emo with hard-hitting punk hits from earlier records. It’d almost say it’s the perfect intro album to get into the band. It’s insanely pleasant to the ear and lyrically it can tear you apart emotionally. What more could you want?

Listen to Patience on Bandcamp, and find the rest of Mannequin Pussy’s discography here .