New Video: Mannequin Pussy Releases a Feral Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Philadelphia-based punk act Mannequin Pussy — currently founding member Missy (vocals, guitars, keys), Colins “Bear” Regisford (bass) and Kaleen Reading (drums) — has gone through a series of lineup changes since forming back in October 2010: Founded by high school friends Marisa “Missy” Dabice and Athanasios Paul (drums), the then-duo released two EPs in 2011, Bonerjamz! and Meatslave, with “Clue Juice” appearing on Leisure Rules, a cassette-only compilation, released in July 2012 through Reeks Of Effort.

That same month, the band had thirteen songs released on a split tour cassette with Idaho-based band Art Fad titled Banditos, released through Trash Palace Tapes. The band expanded to a trio with the addition of Drew Adler (drums) — and as a result, Paul moved to guitar. With that lineup, the band released their full-length debut, 2013’s Gypsy Pervert as a limited edition, cassette only released through Rarebit Records.

In 2014 the members of Mannequin Pussy signed to Tiny Engines, who re-released their full-length debut. Over the next two years, the band went through a series of lineup changes: 2015 saw Reading replace Adler on drums and in the following year Regisford returned to the band. The lineup of Missy, Reading and Regisford and Paul released their critically applauded, breakthrough album Romantic, which featured “Romantic,” a trace that landed on Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Songs of 2016 list.

In March 2019, the band signed with Epitaph Records, who released their third album Patience that June. Much like a handful of bands across the world, last year was looking up for the members of the band: they had started touring to support Patience — and after a decade as a band, they were finally able to turn music into a full-time job. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a massive monkey wrench into everyone’s plans, making touring, let alone playing anywhere impossible and dangerous. The band announced that Athanasios Paul had left the band to “start a new chapter in his life” and that they would continue forward as a trio.

After spending much of last year in anxious, pandemic-related isolation, the remaining members decided to reconvene and book studio time with Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip to work in person. They brought two previously written songs into the sessions, but they were so excited from their reunion, that they decided to write new material together on the fly. “We just figured if we forced ourselves into this situation where someone could hit ‘record,’ something might come out,” Missy says. “We’d never written that way before.” The end result is the band’s forthcoming EP Perfect.

Inspired by months of social isolation and anxiety-fueled doom scrolling, the EP and its title track in particular, thematically examines the practice of condensing your daily life into a manicured stream of images for social media consumption. “Last year, I found myself spending more time on my phone than I ever had in my life. Physically separate from other people, I spent hours of time watching other humans perform on my rectangle. I realized that through years of social media training, many of us have grown this deep desire to manicure our lives to look as perfect, as aspirational as possible,” the band’s frontwoman Missy explains in press notes. ““We want to put ourselves out there, share our lives, our stories, our day to day – and these images and videos all shout the same thing: ‘Please look at me, please tell me I’m so perfect.’ It’s simultaneously a declaration of our confidence but edged with the desperation that seeks validation from others.

Clocking in at a little over 2:30, “Perfect” is a hardcore punk-inspired, feral bludgeoning, centered around thunderous drumming, howled vocals and explosive power chords and a mosh pit friendly break. Play this one loud. Play it so loud that it frightens your neighbor.

Directed by the band’s Missy, the recently released video for “Perfect” is inspired by the 1997 cult comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Taking viewers to Sugarbush High’s 10-year anniversary, the video reveals the rot, unease and freakishness under the veneer of perfection. The freaks who uproot everything are the heroes and the norms are awful — and that’s generally the case, isn’t it?