Speak Into My Good Eye

Album Review: Mannequin Pussy – Romantic

Chelsea Conte November 8, 2016 New Music, Reviews No Comments

Mannequin Pussy

Photo Credit: Scott Troyan

Romantic can be defined as “thinking about love and doing and saying things to show you love someone.” But what about when that feeling of romance is gone, what is left? Is romance fleeting? What happens next? The emotional strife and agony of a breakup so tumultuous and sadistic is hard to fathom. When the back and forth torturous anxiety rears its ugly head after the end of a relationship, it leaves you feeling a lot of feels.

Romantic, the sophomore album from Philly punks Mannequin Pussy, encompasses all those feelings and so much more into a 17-minute, full-length record. What takes other bands at least triple the playing time is packed into 11 one to two-minute tracks that bellow out bursts of fierce anxiety, and passionate emotion. Mannequin Pussy trots back and forth between thrashing hardcore, to dreamy twee, following the range of emotions that span the album creating an abundance of anxiety and nervousness. It’s not all too often that an album makes you feel so many things at once, playing with your emotions from start to finish, but Romantic is one of them.

What started out as a duo between lifelong friends Marisa Dabice, frontwoman and guitarist Thanasi Paul, Mannequin Pussy has now grown into a four-piece, adding drummer Kaleen Reading, and Collins Regisford on bass. With the expansion of their band, their sound has also grown on Romantic belting out blistering tunes like “Meatslave One” and “Ten.”

Romantic is an album that goes by so fast, but leaves an impression and a feeling of emptiness. It’s like something you love got taken away and you need it back, so you listen to the record again and again. Dabice spits words like fire and isn’t one for a chorus, leaving each track void of repetitious verses, but the lyrics hitting harder just hearing them once. Dabice comes across as both strong and vulnerable on the opening track, “Kiss.” She sings, “I am not ashamed to be lonely, but I’m afraid to feel it so deeply.” The title track, “Romantic” goes from twee pop to a ripping punk anthem. As Dabice screams, “I’m in hell,” it takes a turn for the more aggressive as the romance turns into something harsh and caustic.

“Emotional High” and “Denial” leaves Mannequin Pussy flirting with the jangly pop side of things creating deeply catchy tunes, and taking personal in depth thoughts packing them into short little bursts of pure pop bliss. “Pledge” is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It’s thrashing and emotive, executed with furiousness, and focused on praising yourself, “I pledge allegiance to myself and nothing else, oh nothing.”

Romantic is an album fueled by riveting emotions and heavy times, but it’s not an album that makes you feel drained or miserable. It’s so well constructed and welcoming to hear Dabice scream out her restless lyrics. Romantic is liberating and tight. It’s a brilliant follow up record that will hold a special place on the shelf. Romantic is out now via Tiny Engines and you can catch Mannequin Pussy on tour this fall/winter. You’re not going to want to miss them.

Mannequin Pussy Tour Dates:

NOV 08 – Tulsa, OK @ Sound Pony
NOV 09 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Powerhouse
NOV 10 – Dallas, TX @ Spinster Records
NOV 12 – McAllen TX @ Yerberia Cultura
NOV 13 – Austin, TX @ Cheerup Charlies
NOV 15 – Tucson, AZ @ Rips Bar
NOV 16 – San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
NOV 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Junior High
NOV 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat
NOV 19 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Secret
NOV 20 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project
NOV 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Big Iron
NOV 23 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
NOV 25 – Omaha, NE @ Milk Run
NOV 26 – Minneapolis, MN @ TBA
NOV 27 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
NOV 29 – Columbus, OH @ The Summit
NOV 30 – Syracuse, NY @ Spit House
DEC 01 – Burlington, VT @ Speaking Volumes
DEC 02 – Haverford, PA @ Haverford College
DEC 03 – NYC (TYLER KANE) @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
DEC 04 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits – Record Release w/ The Spirit Of The Beehive
DEC 08 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ The Spirit Of The Beehive
DEC 09 – Blacksburg, VA @ Robin Williams Center for the Arts w/ The Spirit Of The Beehive
DEC 10 – Charlotte, NC @ Lunchbox Records w/ The Spirit Of The Beehive
DEC 11 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Neptunes w/ The Spirit Of The Beehive

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About The Author

Chelsea Conte is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communication. She's a freelance writer based in New Jersey who enjoys running, making bad puns and eating macaroni and cheese. Follow her @chelseaconte

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