PINS: Bad Thing EP.

24 03 2017

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In some ways, I guess I could just say this blog is dedicated to the same bands over and over. That probably makes me boring, but I don’t care. It’s not my fault that a solid few I love put out excellent music that deserves being written about. I’ve been writing about PINS for a long time now, and every time I write about them it is as if I find something new to love about them. Everything they put out seems a step above what they previously did. They have a really strong sound, and aren’t afraid to be different and more importantly, create a sound that is so important.

As part of the Bad Thing EP, PINS have worked with the King of Punk. The Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop on the lead track Aggrophobe. The partially spoken word track captures why we love him- his voice. Speaking or singing, Iggy has such a distinctive voice and with Faith’s voice merging with his on the hook, you kind of want Iggy to be a permanent member of PINS. It’s such a brilliant song, and the video to it is equally great.

Bad Thing is a handful of songs that show perfectly just how great PINS are and how their sound and beautifully evolved. I need to touch on their stunning cover of Dead Souls by Joy Division. Not many people can work a cover and add something to it. I think if someone is going to cover a song, they should do something that makes it theirs. That makes you believe it is their song and doesn’t belong to someone else. They’ve done it beautifully with Dead Souls. When I first heard PINS a part of me heard familiar hints of Joy Division in their sound, and I’m so happy they chose this as the Joy Division song to cover. It’s one of their best ones, and PINS make it their own but still leave parts of Joy Division within the song. It is 4 minutes and 35 seconds of ethereal darkness. It’s comforting and sacred. For me, PINS are made up of 5 excellent musicians who are the best at what they do. If you’ve seen them live, they’ve probably all left you wishing you could play an instrument. I firmly stand by Sophie being one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen.

After spending my morning at work listening to Bad Thing, I’m pretty much set on In Nightmares being my favourite song. Faith’s voice is gorgeous on this song. There are a number of songs by PINS where her voice just sounds so haunting yet angelic, In Nightmares is easily one of them (Everyone Says is another, from their last record) In Nightmares is the song you go back to and play constantly. Irrespective of your mood, it’ll make you feel like you’ve got a safety net and well, we all need that at times and sometimes it takes form in the shape of music.

All Hail is a song they have already been putting in their shows, and it is so good to see. It’s got this wonderful gang-like feel to it as they sing, “All hail.” It’s like a protective circle around the band and those who love their music. PINS are one of those bands you wish you could join. You’d start a band if you could, but you know you wouldn’t be able to get a sound like this. There is something familiar about their sound, which makes you know it is them but there is something else that lies within their sound that makes you unsure if it is a band from decades and decades ago, or if this is really a band from 2017 making this ideal sound.

To be honest, PINS have got the ideal sound. But that’s just my opinion. For me their sound is everything I want from music and from a band. I love their lyrics but I also love watching their live shows. I’ve seen them at pretty much every London show they’ve done. They’re playing up the road from my house next month, and I’m so excited about it. They are a band that you have just got to see live. Each show they’ve done that I’ve seen just shows how much they have grown. Not just on record, but on a stage too. The confidence is properly there now, and I am so proud of them.

Bad Thing is out now, but limited copies are available.





THE STOOGES:The Stooges.

24 11 2016

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“And I’ll lay right down in my favorite place
And now I wanna be your dog.”

1969. A year that gave us a band that would, at the start be looked down on but eventually become one of the most influential bands of all time. Fronted by one of the most charismatic and courageous human beings, ever.

On Monday I went to the cinema to see Gimme Danger. The brilliant film about The Stooges. As I watched it, every part of me wished I was born at the right time to have appreciated them at the start. Instead I came into the world a couple of decades later. I couldn’t understand how or why The Stooges were the underdogs, why they were given so much shit. Maybe it’s because they were completely misunderstood. Their debut record is one of the most remarkable and most raw records of all, and for a debut to sound like that? Shit. You can just tell that they were on the verge of creating something that would make some feel uncomfortable, but what good comes from feeling otherwise?

I was very young when I first heard The Stooges, very young. I wasn’t aware of how important they would end up being to me but I remember instantly being hooked on Iggy. He seemed like someone that nobody could touch. He was like a fictional character brought to life and this character heightened when on a stage. The way he would whirl about on stage and how he would launch himself into the crowd. It wasn’t like anything else, he’s not like anyone else. He moves on stage like a gorilla ready to attack, especially when he crouches down and moves in this way that just makes you wonder what he’s going to do next. When a band can keep you on constant edge like that, that’s when you truly connect and know you’ve got a band to love for life.

Their debut record is a collection of songs that mess with your head. I mean that intro to I Wanna Be Your Dog is probably the greatest intros of all time. As soon as I hear it my ears prick up and I’m covered in goose bumps. I can’t describe what it sounds like but every time I play it, it feels like I’m hearing it for the first time. That new sensation takes over every time I hear it. We Will Fall is 10 minutes of chanting and bliss. It doesn’t sound like anything else on the record or really anything else they’ve ever done. No Fun is 5 minutes of summing up how boring life can sometimes be if you let yourself fall into a bland routine.

This recorded guided a generation into the 70s and brought to life a movement that would establish one of the most influential styles of music ever. Maybe I’m biased in my thoughts there, but for me, Punk is the backbone of everything I love. It isn’t just a 2 minute song telling the world to go fuck itself. It’s more than you or I can describe or explain. It’s a sound, a feeling, an attitude and I’m happy it found its way to me. The more I listen to The Stooges, the more I hear things I may not have initially picked up on. I can hear just how frantic Scott’s drumming was, and I think that’s part of the charm. Scott’s drumming was out of this world and he played in a way that made you want to make your own noise. Hell, The Stooges just made you want to make your own noise.

Their first record is smutty, off the wall and just wonderfully weird. These are the traits that got me hooked on them the first time around, and it is still apparent now decades later. The songs ooze frustration, desperation and the need for something. The need to search and destroy (different record, I know) and this record everlastingly and loving grabs you by the throat and unapologetically plants one right on the kisser. It’s just a brilliant listen, from start to finish. There’s no bad song on the record and each song is a side to The Stooges that we all grew to love and admire.

It took them a long time to get the respect and admiration that they rightfully deserved, and maybe if it happened straight away this raw and urgent sound they constantly possessed may never have been there. If you’re looking for a band that define going against what people expect or a band that just don’t care what you think- The Stooges are for you. The Stooges are for everyone. Everyone deserves to feel that “oh fuck!!” feeling when they hear I Wanna Be Your Dog for the first time. It’s feeling like no other, and man…it’s so timeless.





Iggy Pop: “I am the world’s forgotten boy. The one who’s searchin’, searchin’ to destroy.”

7 06 2012

 

“No fun to hang around, feelin’ that same old way.  No fun to hang around, freaked out for another day.”

Ever had a really embarrassing moment involving someone you look up to and a relative? I sure have. 10 years ago I was reading something, and I turned the page. On the next page was a full on naked photo of Iggy Pop. Next to me, was my mum. I was embarrassed and those few seconds felt like forever. It’s alright. Iggy has been one person I’ve frequently looked up to. Not because he strips off a lot, but because he just doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks. Besides, he’s the forefront of the genre of music that owns my heart-Punk.

My love for Iggy started out when I was really young. I Wanna Be Your Dog was the song I first remember hearing. The intro just blew me away, but as soon as Iggy’s voice kicked in- I felt like I had found something I had been missing for a long time. At such a young age, you think everything is missing. As you get older you realise you are still constantly searching. You’re not entirely sure what for though. I don’t know, maybe you are. Maybe you aren’t. I guess that’s what keeps most of us alive. If I was content with who I am and my life, I’d probably throw myself off a cliff. I can’t imagine ever settling and never not thinking “There’s more than this.” I just can’t. It makes no sense to enjoy routine. Maybe it is because I get bored so easily. The only thing I don’t grow tired of is music and books. The energy that Iggy has really clicked with me. I know I move really slow, and I do enjoy a nap. But when you listen to songs such as Search And Destroy, you feel so much energy. Sorry for the really bad pun, but it is all down to RAW POWER. That’s what it is. There’s no other way.

I grew up bored. I hated where I grew up. I’m back there now, and I’m sick of it. I don’t understand why this place exists but hey- I guess it must. I’m bored with it. There’s nothing to do at all. I find myself constantly wishing for Aliens or whatever to take me away at 3am so I can go do something interesting. This constant feel of boredom surrounds me everywhere day, so I suppose that is why I felt such a connection to Iggy and his words. A lot of his music really does touch on being bored, feeling isolated and frustrated.

A lost teenager has evidently resorted in me turning into an adult who wants more from life; but has no means at all in doing so. I have nothing, and I own nothing. The most expensive thing I own are my Docs. They were about £50. I don’t own any expensive clothes, my laptop is breaking, I own 2 pairs of jeans- but you make do with what you have. Maybe I could turn my books and records into clothes. Having nothing and wanting more, to just get the fuck out really makes me connect even more with Iggy Pop. More than I did when I was 14. At 25 years old, every word he sings seems to be more and more apt.

I’ve shut off the world so many times playing The Passenger over and over. It is the perfect song to remove yourself from everything to. Iggy just has this way. I like it when an artist gives the listener the freedom to make up their own mind about what a song is about. I don’t like it when they give you a solid explanation. Music is all about freedom, so the listener should also have the freedom to make up their own meaning and make the song their own. For me, The Passenger is like the outsider of society finding comfort in it all. Finding a sense of inner peace by gazing at the street lights and drifting in and out of all that is happening during the night-time. I much prefer the night to the day. Then again, I’m probably not normal. But who truly is? Nobody.

Aged 65, Iggy is still performing (topless) and to be honest- his energy and presence really shows up some of the singers and bands that are around today. What I absolutely adore about Iggy is that he managed to be the voice of so many, and I still he is. I hope that some lost and isolated teenager in the middle of nowhere finds Iggy’s music and finds themselves in the music. I hope they carry it on into adulthood. Once you listen to Iggy, that’s it. You’re hooked completely. I can’t imagine just casually listening to his music (solo and with The Stooges.) Maybe it is because he is someone I just unconditionally have a lot of love and respect for. Maybe it is because his music kept me going through my teenage years. I’m still kicking and screaming my way through adulthood (okay maybe not screaming..just silently disliking it.) But he’s ALWAYS been there. At times his music feels like he is saying, “You know what kid? I know what it’s like to have nothing and to want to be something. You’ll get there eventually.” Maybe eventually I will.

His insane stage antics are another reason as to why I love him. Anyone who launches himself into a crowd and covers himself in peanut butter is a hero to me. Then again, I think Iggy could be the only person to get away with that kind of behaviour. See, you may think Lady Gaga is apparently “wild.” Whatever. Go watch some Iggy Pop live clips. Read some Iggy stories. I’m not saying he started that kind of behaviour, but he sure as hell brought it to the media’s attention. Everything he has ever done stays with you. From the insane stage invasions to him parading about naked to him singing the songs that sum up your thinking.

He goes so far beyond being the Godfather of Punk. He’s just this figure that has provided guidance for many generations who had no one. His music is a lifeline for those who feel drained. Feelings of exhaustion leave you as soon as you hear his distinctive voice. He manages to charge you up when you feel like you have/are nothing. He’s an incredible force that, to just describe him as a “singer” is quite disrespectful. He exceeds that, and more. One of my favourite interviews I have ever seen is the interview Faris Badwan (singer in The Horrors) did with him. To see someone interview one of their idols, and ask questions as a fan is truly beautiful and inspiring. It is one interview that constantly sticks out for me. The shyness that Faris has around Iggy, and the way Iggy is with Faris is sort of like father and son in a way. You can see him guiding Faris in a different way aside from musically. It just shows how sensitive and gentle Iggy is. His music may give you the impression that he’s some angry man. Truth is, he isn’t.

What you can take from Iggy is that you should never judge. Those that look angry or as if they may rob you are probably the most gentle beings you’ll meet. My mum says to me, “How you dress and how you are..they’re just totally different. You’re so gentle and kind.” When you watch an Iggy performance, it does make you think he’s pretty crazy. Then you read interviews or watch him being interviewed. He’s sensitive, well-spoken and well-educated. How could you not fall in love with this man?!

I honestly cannot imagine what it’d be like with someone as strong as Iggy around. He took a genre of music and made it for all. The way he commands a stage to his intelligence is so easy to feel comfortable with, and feel part of. Even if you still feel a bit lost, his music will always feel like home.