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Mannequin Pussy – ‘Perfect’

In a recent chat with fans on Instagram, Mannequin Pussy’s Missy Dabice revealed one of her concerns was that she’d never be able to write a song as good as ‘Drunk II’. The lead single of the band’s seminal 2019 record ‘Patience’ is a masterpiece in expressing post break-up rage, confusion and forlorn love backed […]

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In a recent chat with fans on Instagram, Mannequin Pussy’s Missy Dabice revealed one of her concerns was that she’d never be able to write a song as good as ‘Drunk II’. The lead single of the band’s seminal 2019 record ‘Patience’ is a masterpiece in expressing post break-up rage, confusion and forlorn love backed by a score of elegantly crafted post-punk.

After a decade together, Mannequin Pussy had found their ‘Basket Case’ or ‘DVP’, a song that defined their band. Dabice explained that it can be a double-edged sword given its brilliance, but is there any way you can even begin to top it? Two years have passed and, in the midst of a soul-sapping pandemic, Mannequin Pussy return with ‘Perfect’.

The five-track EP is the distilled energy of the Philadelphia three-piece and traverses all of the calling cards fans have become accustomed to. It’s wrapped up in the anxiety that has pervaded through lockdown life but with all of the venomous punch and sneery commentary that makes Mannequin Pussy’s sound so distinct.

Its title track is an explosion of rage against the preening social media culture that was only magnified during the lockdowns. A snarling take on the pressure to curate the perfect life for yourself through Instagram, it has Dabice spitting on the need for instant gratification as she screams, “Look in my eyes / Tеll me I’m it / Tell me I’m bеauty / Tell me I’m fit / Spit in my face / Laugh at my tits / Tell me I’m perfect / Tell me I’m it”.

The anger and rage of ‘Perfect’ is juxtaposed with the vulnerability that pierces out of ‘To Lose You’, a slower, contemplative track accentuating the loneliness of 18 months locked away. They play a beautiful balance of boiling rage and quiet reflection, as ‘Pigs Is Pigs’ is a brooding crack of thunder with duelling vocal screams from Dabice and bassist Colin Regisford.

‘Perfect’ is the riotous return of Mannequin Pussy. It builds on where ‘Patience’ left off –  packed with pent-up anger, frustration, loneliness and resentment. It carries with it all the sneer and dark humour Dabice’s songwriting is so adept at while at times maintains a delicate sense of vulnerability.

Not every song an artist writes will be a masterpiece but in ‘Perfect’, Mannequin Pussy have the ideal second act to ‘Drunk II’.

TOM WALSH

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