Perfect from Mannequin Pussy – an EP for our times….

Perfect from Mannequin Pussy – an EP for our times….

It is inevitable that the pandemic will have an influence on contemporary music.  Philadelphia punk band Mannequin Pussy had just released their third album Patience and were touring when the pandemic hit early in 2020. Like many of us, social isolation hit hard along with anxiety of the negative impact of the pandemic felt in all aspects of life.  After a substantial break and when the rules allowed, the band got back into the studio.  With two songs already written they decided to write the others spontaneously fuelled by the excitement of playing together again.  As the band themselves admitted “We just figured if we forced ourselves into this situation where someone could hit ‘record’, something might come out.  We’d never written that way before”.  The result is the 5-track EP Perfect released on Epitaph.

The EP opens with ‘Control‘ which begins with a gentle strumming guitar and a beautiful vocal by lead singer and guitarist Missy.  However do not be fooled, this quickly alights.  Informed by the thought of being in control, and yet those walls are closing in, the song reflects this with a loud and powerfully impassioned delivery reflecting the frustration.

Next is ‘Perfect‘, perhaps what we expect from Mannequin Pussy.  A raucous track with shouty punk vocals accompanied by a wild rock guitar which is executed at a furious pace.  The sentiment here is one of social comparison, which has weirdly intensified under the extraordinary pressures of the pandemic.  Social media has increased its impact on society, providing a snapshot of our lives under Covid, whilst we remained isloated and separated.  How could our lives possibly have become so small?

To Lose You‘ is gentler again, a heartfelt impassioned song full of emotion and beautifully sung.

And then a swift U-turn into ‘Pigs is Pigs‘ which I have to admit is my favourite track on the EP.  A two minute blast of snarly aggression.  This is wicked punked up guitars and drums full of reverb and screaming of frustration to break free.  An abrupt end just leaves you breathless, and actually wanting more.  Missy is joined by Colins “Bear” Regisford on bass and Kaleen Reading on drums, and surely this track shows off their combined synchronicity.

Finally the pace slows right down with final song ‘Darling‘, a glorious contemplative love song.  It is beautifully sung by Missy and to think this is the same band who have just given us ‘Pigs is Pigs‘, its extraordinary.  To close the EP with this track provides the message that if we have and take care of each other then all will be well in these challenging times.

The themes here are so open and honest.  The EP as a whole encapsulates the variety of emotions felt during this extended period of lockdown.  The anger, frustration, loneliness, and resentment of a year spent locked away all come sputtering forth.  Perfect is therefore a reflection of these differing moods. And once expressed and released, a calmness can settle, an acceptance perhaps of the strange times we are living in, and our anxieties and tensions can ease a little.

Perfect is available now and for more information please check out Epitaph and facebook

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