PINS ‘Wild Nights’

It doesn’t feel like three years since Pins first arrived with their killer EP LUVU4LYF. This is mainly because they don’t seem to have stopped since then, constantly touring and supporting the likes of Sleater Kinney and Warpaint, and endlessly plugging away for their début album Girls Like Us. That album didn’t seem to capture their live essence. Rather than the energy and vibrancy of their gigs, there was a considered, almost Joy Division-esque air of restraint and space. The surfier live feel to their music was lost slightly to a more post-punk atmosphere, only ‘Waiting For The End’ and the title track really capturing that same feel.

None of that matters now. Wild Nights opener ‘Baby Bhangs’ blows away the cobwebs and sets the standard for what to expect, all slinky guitars, throbbing bass and blissfully harmonised lyrics about wearing leather jackets or something.

‘Too Little Too Late’ was perhaps a strange choice of lead single. It kicks off with a pounding drumbeat and the Nuggets-y organ of brand new fifth Pin Kyoko and broods along nicely for two and a half minutes until a brief pause for some blistering feedback, and then the last thirty seconds ride off into the sunset in double time. Second single, and second track off the record, ‘Young Girls’, would have been a better choice. It’s the perfect distillation of Pins, all snake-hipped riffs, tight harmonised backing vocals, and even a whoop before the second verse, which harks back nicely to their habit of walking onstage howling like wolves when they were touring LUVU4LYF. It’s closely followed by ‘Curse These Dreams’. Appropriately enough, it’s a dream pop gem, all blissed out harmonies in the chorus and jangly C86 guitars.

‘Oh Lord’ and ‘House of Love’ have been highlights of their live set for the past year or so. On record they’re the closest to ‘Girls Like Us’ with their Jesus & Mary Chain-style fuzzy riffs and brooding vocals, but the fact that they’re not the best tracks on the album speaks volumes about how far Pins have come from their début. Not to mention that the brilliant pair of tracks they released on beautiful heart-shaped vinyl for Record Store Day 2014, ‘Shoot You’ and ‘Eleventh Hour’, are nowhere to be seen here.

The real star of the show comes late in the day in the form of penultimate track ‘Molly’. Chiming guitars and a mesmerising, circular bass line combine to almost psychedelic effect. After just under two minutes things get really interesting: everything drops out apart from that chiming main riff, and there’s a key change for the instrumental led by guitarist Lois’s exploratory jamming and weird effects pedals. Then the verse returns, chanted in perfect harmony, before the song goes full circle, dropping back to the original key. ‘Closer Everyone Says’ is restrained, soothing you back to the real world and showcasing lead singer Faith’s vocals.

Everything about this record is improved from the (admittedly great) début. It’s simultaneously looser and tighter, feeling more relaxed and confident, an inevitable result of spending three years on tour together. It’s a wonder they found time to record anything, never mind such a strong set of songs. Pins have been quietly getting on with the job of being the best band in Manchester for some time now, so it’s about time people start sitting up and taking notice. If Wild Nights can’t bring them to wider attention there’s no justice in the world.

Release Date 08/06/2015 (Bella Union)

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Andy Vine

Like all cis-male atopic half Welshmen, I'm a big fan of shouty indie, noisy drone and the daytime Radio 1 playlist. Outside of punk rock my primary interests are tea (white no sugar please) and beer (brown no sugar please). When I'm not writing about stuff for Silent Radio I'm occasionally doing my own stuff which you can read about at if you want (you should).