PINS: Girls Like Us – album reviewPINS: Girls Like Us (Bella Union)

DL / LP / CD

Out: 30th September

Highly regarded Manchester four-piece PINS have their debut album set for release at the end of the month. Like a lot of you we’ve been waiting to hear this for ages, so much so that we’re slipping out our review a full 4 weeks prior to it’s release. Check out what could be our first of at least a couple of reviews below.

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember the thrill, the anticipation of that single. The walk home from the shops, walking fast nearly running because minutes, seconds count. You have to hear it now. It’s like that with PINS first album, “Girls like us”. Sure it’s a digital copy, straight to Dropbox but I still have that journey home. I haven’t got time to download it to the phone or a memory stick before I set off so I cant listen in the car and I’m trying not to put my foot down. Music should be like this. It should own your life; make you behave irrationally and obsessively. And that’s what PINS do. In the digital age they still capture the essence of the great ages of vinyl. I knew I was going to get hold of the album digitally but I had to pre-order the album on vinyl anyway. I don’t even have the record player set up at the moment, but I absolutely need the vinyl. And “Girls like us” justifies the twitchy obsession. It’s dark, tormented and dripping with the poison of a thousand fucked up relationships. People got hurt but that’s not the end of it, someone is going to get seriously fucked up by these Girls.

Wailing guitars, tales of woe, loss and vengeance, this isn’t the sound of a Manchester band. And you really can’t call them that. I won’t be the first to suggest that they don’t sound like they’re from round these here parts, more likely from a few thousand miles to the West. But not New York, I’m thinking further West. And I’m thinking of the Gun Club. Kid Congo Powers would be president of PINS fan club; Lux Interior would be their No1 groupie; Tarantino would have them soundtrack an entire movie. Jeffrey Lee Pierce would be scared to go drinking with them.

So the album, is it good? Hell yes, it’s good. It’s really fucking good. 13 tracks rarely going up to 3 minutes, each infused with fuzz guitar and aching harmonies. I love that guitar. Lois has got be my favourite guitarist of the moment. Not in that Joe Satriani way but in that, “fuck me I want to make that sound” kind of way. Doesn’t play more than she needs to but makes the thing wail.

And there are a couple of desperately short vignettes. Frustratingly so. “Play with Fire” comes in, captures you and leaves before your heart can skip a beat.

“What I do to him, he does to me”, now I don’t know what the sentiment is behind that but I’m not sure I really want to know. Starts with a low throb of drums and that lovely, lovely fuzz bass rumble that Anna brings to the party. Builds to a glorious crescendo of “I want it all”. Just don’t tell me what you want.

“Stay True” is the gang anthem.  Layers of echo laden “Whoa whooaaaaaa!” backing vocals from the gang, layers of fuzzed up guitar being lead through by the bass again. “Stay True” or we’ll fuck you up. They really could beat you up y’know.

Oh they do choruses so well. On “Waiting for the End” they sing “He’s gone awaaaaaaayyyyyy” and you really know how that’s supposed to sound. They deliver it.

And then it’s gone. It’s an album as long as it needs to be.  You should own it. You should go and see them. There’s a brief period of time when great bands haven’t been told what not to do and are even more glorious because of it. This is that time.

PINS have the following live dates slated in:

  • 30 August – End Of The Road, Dorset
  • 10 September – The Social, London (Huw Stephens night)
  • 5 October – Sheffield, Harley
  • 7 October – Bristol, Louisiana
  • 8 October – Brighton, The Hope
  • 9 October – London, Birthdays
  • 10 October – Norwich, Hog in Armour
  • 11 October – Newcastle, Cluny
  • 12 October – Glasgow, Broadcast
  • 15 October – Liverpool, Leaf
  • 16 October – Birmingham, Bull’s Head
  • 17 October – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
  • 24 October – Lille (France), La Peniche
  • 25 October – Paris (France), Point Ephemere
  • 26 October – Lyon (France), Le Sonic

PINS website can be found HERE – be sure & follow em if you use Tumblr too. They  can be found on Facebook & Twitter.

 All words by Simon Wharton.

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