Philadelphia’s Mannequin Pussy has never been a band that took too much time. Each of their first two albums run less than twenty minutes, flying through songs that manage to balance hard and fast instrumentals with singer and guitarist Marisa Dabice’s poignant lyricism and masterful range and tone. However, their third album, Patience, seems to be a statement of its own as their longest compilation at 26 minutes. It’s length almost allows the listener to breathe in the music, creates space for it to guide you through a whirlwind of highs and lows. Patience tells you a story and makes certain you’re listening.

The album begins with the title track, a high-energy build where Dabice meets the instrumentals of band mates Athanasios Paul, Kaleen Reading, and Colin Rey Regisford, building until one is met with a release akin to that of a cork popping as the verse falls seamlessly into a tightly wound chorus. The lyrics pay special attention to the experience of the restless body of the modern era—the bodies of others, the body of one’s self, the body as a thing in motion. The rest of the album follows the theme, managing to strike nerves that hit where it counts. In the single “Drunk II” Dabice spits “you don’t look at me/ you don’t talk to me/and I know it’s because you’re weak, baby/you feel guilty/ it’s pathetic.” The song shoots a gentle venom, the hurt and anger and internalization of a break up that feels universal and unique all in one go. The album follows suit, giving way to pain, to love, to hope.

Throughout the album, the music acts swiftly, pulling and pausing. They keep in touch with their punk roots on tracks like “F.U.C.A.W.” and “Drunk I,” where the instrumentals are as demanding as Dabice’s screams. The music jumps directly into striking rounds, with Kaleen Reading acting with incredible fury on the drums. It is almost impossible to listen to these tracks without a physical reaction, the body tapping and bopping with each mighty note. “Drunk I,” coming in at a quick and dirty fifty-three seconds in length, manages to intersperse the pleasant madness with fascinating pop tonalities. It gives the song a classic MP quality and leaves the listener begging for more. Quite opposite to this experience are tracks like “High Horse that create a dreamy sonic scape in which you’re taken into the interior of Dabice’s melancholy. It slopes upward, following a riff that opens into a quaking seismic release. The album closes flawlessly on “In Love Again,” a track that pays homage to the flurry of emotions the rest of the album focuses on. It rings as triumphant, the guitar springing ahead and allowing the listener to relish in the feeling of new love and of lessons learned. If anything, this piece guides us to a happier place. We’ve come a long way and it’s evident and exuberant.

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