Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mannequin Pussy: Patience [Epitaph, 2019]
Rookie indie-rock bands untouched by roots mannerisms are automatically tagged punk just because they're fast, concise, and palpably unvirtuosic, a slot that well suited this Philly g-g-b-d's frantic 2016 Romantic. Several notches slower and graced or bedizened by hooky lead-guitar riffs, this is something else: to wit, "rock." The romantic preoccupations of resident genius Marisa Dabice jibe with this formal commitment, and while I can't be sure that the relevant guitar noises come from Athanasios Paul ("guitar & keys"), that's usually how such byplay goes. Don't get the wrong idea: on "Drunk 1," "High Horse," "Clams," and the hoarse, embattled "F.U.C.A.W." she's plenty pissed. But she closes with the near-anthemic "In Love Again" because that's where she wants to end up, and why shouldn't she? A-