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.

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PINS-Wild Nights.

29 05 2015

I have no idea who came up with the concept that the second record for a musician is difficult. Maybe it was another lazy music “critic” but it’s total bollocks. A band can put a good or bad record out at any time in their career. Fortunately there are bands that breeze over this lame idea of the second record being a difficult task.

On Monday PINS will be releasing their second record, Wild Nights via the ever reliably brilliant Bella Union. The record consists of 11 tracks that make you think you’re listening to a band well into their career. Their second record surpasses their debut, Girls Like Us. It is different and shows that they aren’t this dark, mean and moody band many were assuming they would end up being. Sure their debut was dark and eerie, and yes there are dark moments on Wild Nights. Wild Nights was recorded in America but they didn’t let the States rule their sound. The record sounds like a strong Manchester record. And if you’ve got your wits about you, you’ll know that Manchester is the home/hub of great music. I was going to do this as a track-by-track thing but I always get distracted and will end up going way off track.

I’m going to mention Oh Lord first because it is the one I’ve been playing constantly over the past few days. Oh Lord is one of the key moments on the record. It has this haunting bass-line which is one of the highlights of the record. Oh Lord sounds like Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control in some parts. I was never a big fan of Joy Division, but as I’ve got older my interest has grown. They say your tastes change as you get older. I just hope I don’t start liking dubstep any time soon. The last minute and a half of the song has this explosion of greatness and boldness to it that really justifies why PINS are basically one of the best bands around.

House Of Love is a song that was floating around in their live sets before we knew anything about Wild Nights. House Of Love is a cult anthem in the making. It’s a massive highlight in their live shows and yet again another vital moment on the record. I’m not going to make any cheap comparisons to their debut, but House Of Love could easily have sounded equally as perfect on that as it does on Wild Nights. No song on this record sounds out of place, no song is a filler. Every song is an extension of what PINS are capable of.

Dazed By You is a love song for modern lovers who don’t care for conventional. The lyrics are poetically gorgeous and beautifully written. The innocence of being in awe of someone on Dazed By You is stunning. In a way it reminds me slightly of Bedroom Eyes by Dum Dum Girls. It’s just got that innocence and purity of devotion flowing through it. Seeing this one live is also a standout moment in their live set, especially for the little jam at the end. It become uncontrollable and if you’ve seen it live, you’ve probably been left with this burning desire to start a band. Go for it.

There are no dull moments on this record, just songs that you want to play over and over. Much like their debut, this record has the sheer potential to influence kids to pick up an instrument and make their own noise. It’s a dreamy record that is perfect to play as the sun sinks down. Girls Like Us was a cold winters day. Wild Nights is the walk home as he sun rises after a night out on a warm summer morning.

If Only is lyrically my top song on the record. I adore the vulnerability and honesty in the lyrics. Anyone who can’t relate to it is lying to themselves. It is so open and so pure, it is just so poignant. Songs like this show us what PINS are made of. They don’t just make songs for you to dream to, they make songs for you to actually FEEL something. What you feel when you hear this song is your own doing but it is such an important song. I hope it becomes a world wide hit so everyone can appreciate the beauty in the lyrics.

I have thousands of words and thoughts about the record, but I can simplify it by saying that it is the bet record to come out this year by a band from the UK. It just reinforces the idea that Manchester is the home to some of the best bands around.

There’s a tour in September so from Monday when the record comes out, it gives you plenty of times to learn the lyrics and make up a dance routine to some of the songs if you want.

Buy it on Monday and play it as loud as you like.





PINS- The Lexington. 27th May 2015.

29 05 2015

Everyone has a handful of bands they don’t ever get tired of listening to or seeing live. I’ve probably got more than a person should, but there are worse things I could spend my money on.

Prior to seeing PINS on Wednesday night, my pal and I were stood outside the venue whilst he had a cigarette. A man comes up to him and asks if he can buy a cigarette off him. I catch a glimpse of him and on his shoulder he has a pet rat. A white thing with horrible pinky/red eyes. He sees us look at his pet, and he plants a kiss on it. He walks off happily with his pet and cigarette. Not much can shock you I suppose when you’re constantly in a busy city. But this? It was just weird. If it gets him through the day, then so be it. Also, I had a really good photo of the band on stage to use, but guess who dropped their phone down the toilet at work yesterday. Yes, this idiot writing this.

PINS are fascinating to see live. You see there are some bands who seem almost scared or probably too uptight to look like they’re enjoying themselves on stage, but with PINS you can tell that they really love playing live. Faith sings in the crowd, Sophie beats the shit out of the drums, Anna makes you wish you could play bass in a band like PINS and Lois likes to wander off a bit on stage. She got behind something on the stage at The Lexington and every so often you saw her glorious blonde hair peer over the side.

The show on Wednesday was a launch for the new record (Wild Nights) which is out on Monday. Some copies were being sold afterwards and of course, it is one of the best records to come out this year. As I’ve called Crocodiles as having the record of the year, I’ll say that PINS have put out the best record in the country. I’ll write about why I love the record this evening.

I’ve seen PINS either 5 or 6 times now and I probably should have run out of things to say about them, or I’m likely to repeat myself. They’re a band you just don’t ever get tired of seeing. The only thing that annoys me are the creeps right at the front who really need to stop taking photos of the body parts of the band (everyone can see you zoom in on the bums and such, just stop.) Other than that, those who go to see PINS are those who really get what the band are about and aren’t there just to hear one song. Everyone still goes nuts to LUVU4LYF and Girls Like Us. But new songs such as House Of Love and Too Little Too Late are starting to get the same reaction as old favourites.

From seeing them a few times, it is just bloody brilliant to see a band develop into something truly wonderful. Their shows aren’t as dark and as moody as their records, but there is something sinister that flows through songs like Oh Lord that come alive when you witness it live. Watching them live is like being at decent house party and your mates band come along to play some songs. There probably are words to describe their live shows, but it isn’t good enough. You’ve just got to see it. They drag people on stage for their take on Hybrid Moments by the Misfits. Girls Like Us is mashed with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. You just want them to play forever and go a bit louder each time. They go mental at the end of Dazed By You which is amazing to witness. They can do the slowest of songs and they can go off the rails on another. They’re showing everyone what they are made of, not just live but on the new record.

I’ve seen them support bands I love and I’ve seen them headline their own shows. Ain’t no party like a PINS party. I wish it was home time so I could unleash my thoughts on their new record.

What I love about PINS is that they evidently have something in them that’s going to fuel younger generations to pick up an instrument and make their own noise. PINS are quite simply one of the best bands from Manchester, and there are loads of them. PINS have got this thing about them that make you want to sack off your 9 to 5 and start a band. To hell with it, you might as well do it. Their sound could intimidate some, but once you’ve met them you’ll realise that they’re just proper lovely people who make the kind of music you wish you could. I’m sort of holding back a little because I’m reserving it all for my thoughts on Wild Nights.

They’ve just announced a tour for September and you can get tickets here:¬†https://www.songkick.com/search?page=1&per_page=10&query=PINS+UK&type=upcoming

It’s pretty tempting to go see them in Manchester. Pretty sure a home crowd is as good as it gets. The record is out Monday and you can buy tickets to their new tour now. You know what to do.