Release Date: Sep 30, 2013
Record label: Bella Union
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
Although the majority of Manchester’s recent breakout bands have been cloaked in a futuristic swathe of electronica, heavy bass and samples, the arrival of PINS on the live scene back in 2011 was a definitive and standout shot in the arm for the city’s live scene. Sneering, immediately identifiable and possessing an incredible, fizzing chemistry within their sound, they immediately became a whispered name – one to find and one to follow. But such immediate hype carried with it a slew of faintly predictable comparisons: Siouxie, Crystal Stilts, Elastica.
Raucous C86 revivalites/post-punksters PINS arrive with an LP of whopping proportions. Monikered Girls Like Us, the foursome are finally unveiling their much-anticipated debut, and after the level of the offerings from the Northern territories this year, the stakes are high. To be filed next to Savages – though PINS are much more affable – they peddle wiry lo-fi noises that are becoming synonymous with the Manchester locale.
2013 was a banner year for female-driven British indie acts: Savages dominated the first half of the year with their fierce yet cerebral debut, and a few months later PINS delivered Girls Like Us. Not that the two bands had much in common besides their timing and gender: PINS take a slower-burning, less arty approach with roots in garage rock and the rawer side of indie, and Girls Like Us expands on the all-or-nothing intensity of their debut EP LuvU4Lyf. While there's nothing here quite as commanding as the title track of that release, these songs show that PINS have learned the virtues of pacing their outbursts with well-timed build-ups and breakdowns that heighten the drama of their music.
You’ve got to hand it to bands from Manchester; they really do know how to sing the word ‘adored’ like they mean it. You accept it, and it is not up for any questioning, doubt or disapproval. PINS‘ moment of adoration comes during Stay True. Where amongst the surfy fuzz of guitars and cooed Shangri La harmonies Faith Holgate declares her intention to “stay here / alone and adored”.