Mannequin Pussy
I Got Heaven


4.5
superb

Review

by Gene Gol-Jonsson CONTRIBUTOR (34 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2024 | 58 replies


Release Date: 03/01/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I got bangers too.

Usually when you hear a brave story of an artist breaking off from their label, buying or taking back their masters (the music masters, not their slave masters or anything), and starting a label of their own, it is a story of perseverance in the face of a usurping company hellbent on breaking you and squeezing every last creative droplet for profit. Not quite the case here. Tiny Engines and Mannequin Pussy seem to still be good pals. Upon suggesting to the label that the band may start a company of their own, the eventual Romantic Records, Tiny Engines’ reaction was apparently something like “lol sure good luck”. There was no bad blood, no tension, no rupture of friendship. There was just a decision of a band to branch out and take matters into their own hands. If I Got Heaven is any indicator, their managerial skill and production effort is a blooming venture and a worthy one, for which to be on the lookout.

Mannequin Pussy, whose name has for a long time been their only unsanitised aspect, have been peeling back the gentleness of their music ever so slightly record by record. Starting out as a run-of-the-mill indie upstart, building patiently towards indie darlings, exploding onto indie rogues, now becoming a full indie force to be reckoned with. They rage through the gamut of punk influences as if they were hitherto prohibited such pleasures. All the while they maintain a general genteel character, a combo largely underappreciated these days. Everything from nostalgic 90s twee-isms, through angular art-punk, to incendiary spitfire hardcore laces the album together. Despite the rather exhaustive assortment of influences, the album only comes close to slogging into messy grab-it-all once. The transition between “OK? OK! OK? OK!” and “Softly” is a shift from one of the album’s angriest and pulsating rager to its drowsiest and most affable. However, even this slightly jarring twists is justified as a move from fury at increasing encroachment on women’s rights to a need of assurance and calm, from fiery disappointment in the world to a desperate plea for support.

Such lines between the passionate and the explosive are towed routinely on the album, often within the same song. The eponymous lead single that opens the album is among the most distorted and cacophonous in the band’s catalogue. It is a vicious craze accentuating the feeling of being (and needing to be) off the leash in order to drill the importance of action in these our desperate times. Desperation from the world leads to a desperation in you, even if you got heaven inside. Heaven then turns real as the chorus rolls around, the pinnacle of the band’s softness in writing, pulling a Moses on the stormy waters of this here punk acrobatics with its heavenly trill. The passive aggressive snark becomes outward wit by the second track, “Loud Bark”, which sees the narrator grappling with their new dog-off-a-leash-like qualities in a more ironic way. Structurally it is an inverse of the opener, ornately elegant at its surface, imploding into a hellish refrain. Despite its innate humour, Mannequin Pussy once again stab bluntly at the blight, addressing oversexualisation of women and feeling of unsafety practically every single woman has ever felt. Why one even needs to have a “loud bark, deep bite”, why can one not simply “walk around at night while being ignored”? Pertinent questions.

“Nothing Like” and “I Don’t Know You” are a two-punch companions, flowing freely between dreamy gazey fuzz and preppy poppiness. The increasing haze of those two set up “Sometimes” perfectly, which in its grungy glory enlightens the listener like the two preceding tracks on the tricky nature of solitude and rejection. Within the need to be always on edge and worrying about perception, violent or professional, between busy schedule of punching nazis, one also must have a home and a hearth to fall back on. “Come and leave your lonesome ways behind“ could as well be the slogan of half of these songs. You should not be alone in your struggle, you should have a means of support for yourself.

If I dare surmise a central thesis of the album, it must be the self-composure in the face of adversity. Think of it as “my being forced to be pro-active and a fighter does not negate my needing softness in my life”, ie. I got a lot to say and a lot to do, but I also got heaven. Cue cold open. Musically then, the general aim is surely to show the world a perfectly flowing album, magnetic to its grandest extents, while exchanging the most possible amount of stylistic switcheroos. That is why “Of Her” and “Aching” seem halfway to churning out grindcore riffs and growls, yet are preceded and immediately followed by the most cathartic cuts in the tracklist in “Softly” and “Split Me Open”. The latter, the album’s closer, also exemplifies album’s overall ambiguity in tone. Is it a biting commentary on people not respecting boundaries, despite your “asking for time” and “begging for space”? Or perhaps a plea for romance, fuelled by cutesy humour.

Mannequin Pussy have now suddenly been given free reign to do whatever they want. And their first course of action was to do everything they ever wanted. Their first effort in doing everything they ever wanted was a resounding success of skilful musicianship, clever writing, and production that managed to accentuate the emotional highlights while lighting more torches under the more aggressive parts of the album. Mannequin Pussy are at their peak. They got their autonomy, they got their masters, they got ideas and ambition and no more leash to pull them back. But most of all, they got heaven. And their gates are open.



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user ratings (85)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2024


6546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

written in a spur of inspiration after having the album on heavy rotation for two days straight (or two days gay, if you will)



https://mannequinpussy.bandcamp.com/album/i-got-heaven-2

MeatSalad
March 2nd 2024


18548 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review mang, dug the singles I've heard from this so will peep

DoofDoof
March 2nd 2024


14938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need to spend time with this, very good first impressions

SlothcoreSam
March 2nd 2024


6193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the their best so far. GreA+t review some1

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
March 2nd 2024


16588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty cool. great review

InfernalDeity
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2024


596 Comments


I'll have to check this. Nice rev

DoofDoof
March 2nd 2024


14938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Harlequin Plushy

RadioSuicide
March 2nd 2024


2597 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Singles off this have been in my default rotation since they dropped, beyond hype to jam this in a bit

DoofDoof
March 2nd 2024


14938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'beyond hype to jam this in a bit'



3.0 rating?

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2024


1698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice Rev! Hyped to hear this! The singles were very solid.

Slex
March 2nd 2024


16441 Comments


Super excited to hear this

zakalwe
March 2nd 2024


38761 Comments


Quality opener

zakalwe
March 2nd 2024


38761 Comments


Quality second song

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2024


1698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this slapped

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2024


6546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bizarre how this band somehow is the most revered up-and-comer in indie for half the target audience, yet completely unknown for the other. Like the world has decided to either praise them at every turn or ignore everything they do...

Calc
March 3rd 2024


17329 Comments


something about jesus eating her snatch told me all I needed to know about these heathens

RadioSuicide
March 3rd 2024


2597 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@doof hasty rate off a lackluster first listen, during which I only really enjoyed the punk heavy tracks. Already bumped it up.



Of Her + Aching is the best one-two punch on the record, I will say

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2024


5426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

nice let's absolutely go

rly digging this, thinking/hoping it'll grow on me even more

rockarollacola
March 3rd 2024


2164 Comments


hell of a band name

bellovddd
March 3rd 2024


5667 Comments


legit band name



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