My favorite release from the past two weeks is by far I Got Heaven by Mannequin Pussy (Listen), which was released this past Friday. It is probably my favorite record released this year so far, it’s that good.

The record oscillates between the sweet sonic melodies of 90s alternative and the rage of hardcore and punk. It’s a perfect combination, and the sound they’ve been refining over their previous three albums. This is the album that is going to put them over the top though, as I predict it will be in the top 10 of many publications end of year lists.

Lyrically, singer Marisa Dabice has never held back on any song, like on “I Got Heaven”, which according to her interview with Stereogum is: “intended to serve as a reminder that we are all perfect exactly as we have been made and that no one gets to decide how a life should or should not be lived.”

I’m stuck inside my loneliness
I’m stuck inside my grief
I wish I could have been there
To save you from the reach
I am spiteful like a god
I seek a vengeance like the rest
For what they did to you
I will never lay to rest
I go and walk myself outside
Like a dog without a leash
Now I’m growling at a stranger
I am biting at their knees

“I Got Heaven” by Mannequin Pussy

Song highlights: “I Got Heaven”, “I Don’t Know You”, “Split Me Open”, and, well…every song is so damn good. Listen to the whole thing!

The week ending February 23rd also had a pretty darn good release in The Past is Still Alive by Hurray for the Riff Raff (Listen). Alynda Segarra has been putting out folk punk albums under the name Hurray for the Riff Raff since 2007 and this album continues a streak of stellar albums, following 2022’s Life on Earth (Listen) and 2017’s The Navigator (Listen).

Lyrically, Segarra touches on everything from harm reduction:

You don’t have to die if you don’t wanna die
You can take it all back in the nick of time
Maybe even be a good friend of mine
Baby I
And we won’t have to cry if we don’t wanna cry
Maybe I got something left in this heart of mine
Awash in the sand on the beach of time
Baby I

“Alibi” by Hurray for the Riff Raff

To a coming of age story about her trans mentor:

And you’ll never know the way I miss Ms. Jonathan
She was beaten in the street and then I never saw her again
She opened up my mind in the holes of her fishnet tights
Dildo waving on her car antenna and
I could’ve ridden shotgun forever

She’d say, “Oh, baby, where do you wanna go?
I know a place no one will ever know,” well
“Oh, baby, where do you wanna go?
I know a place no one will ever know”

“Hawkmoon” by Hurray for the Riff Raff

Pitchfork sums up the themes of the album well: “a vivid time travelogue that reflects on Segarra’s youthful misadventures as a “dirty kid” or punk traveler with humility, nostalgia, and transhistorical perspective. In the retelling, shoplifting and dumpster diving for food represent both self-sufficiency and secret shame. And when you have no place to go, a train will take you somewhere. ” And it’s an amazing listen.

Honorable Mentions

From February 23:

Rationale by Glitterer (Listen)
Glitterer is the project fronted by former Title Fight bassist, Ned Russin. Glitterer pumps out short, synth-tinged earworms with catchy guitar riffs and vulnerable lyrics. Not too far off of Title Fight or bands like Fiddlehead, Drug Church, and Militarie Gun. A super solid album, overall.

From March 1:

Undressed at the Symphony by Faye Webster (Listen)
On a normal week, this would probably make it to the featured section as it’s a stellar album. Unfortunately it has to compete with Mannequin Pussy! Webster writes music that could be characterized as indie folk and I’ve even seen it referred to as “indie yacht rock”! A damn good release, top to bottom, which I imagine will end up on many end of year lists.

Record giveaway to newsletter subscribers this February

I am a patient boy.

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