I’ll be moving to Philadelphia in the next few months, and though there are plenty of things I’ll miss about Seattle, I will not miss how it’s become an increasingly hard place for musicians (or non-rich) people to live. Philly, on the other hand, seems to have been a bit more hospitable to its music scene in the past few years. Or at least, this would explain the countless Philly indie bands to break out recently, which has to some extent made it feel like the underdog version of Brooklyn, musically speaking. I can’t say whether I’ll be going to a ton of smaller shows in Philly, since that’s never been something I’ve been great at keeping up with. But a band like Mannequin Pussy has me intrigued to see what other new artists the city has in store.
Mannequin Pussy has a pretty tried and true formula, that I will sometimes stray from, but often come back to. This great mix of cranky punk and melodic wistfulness that often veers in between these two extremes from track to track. So perhaps it’s appropriate (or intentional) that the most overt example of the former category comes in the form of the not-even-a-minute-long “Drunk I”. Then on the other end of the spectrum you have “Drunk II”, a fantastic, almost anthemic mid-tempo rocker that I might qualify as one of my 2019 Summer Jams if I kept track of such things.
This whiplash between shorter screamers and slower, more emotionally sincere songs certainly is helped by the album’s 26-minute running time. I’m not entirely sure it would work on a longer album, but here you get an energetic snapshot of the things this band is potentially capable of. Which isn’t to say that they don’t already sound great here, since it seems like Mannequin Pussy’s been around for a little while and are really coming into their own here. But rock bands with depth are hard to find these days, and it’s nice to find one that has made a very good album and seems like they have more in them.