PINS bypass the indie landfill on Bad Thing EP

Bad Thing EPBeing in an indie band in the late 2010s is a thankless task. The musical landscape has shifted so drastically that any band of misfits armed with guitars are labeled “landfill” before they’ve managed to (literally and figuratively) strike a chord. In many ways, it feels like PINS have been aware of what they’ve been up against since day one. So with Bad Thing, their first release since last year’s sophomore album, they’ve decided to bring out the big guns.

The main assault comes in the form of the one and only Iggy Pop. The Godfather of all things punk rears his head on “Aggrophobe”, providing a haunting piece of spoken word that makes the track come across like the twisted, forgotten sister of The Cribs' stellar 2007 effort “Be Safe”.

The momentum built up with this quite brilliant effort continues on “All Hail” and “In Nightmares”. The former is all psych trips and electronic claps, while the latter is a much more grinding affair. Basslines grumble and synthesizers shine, as Faith Vern’s angelic vocals threaten nightmares and isolation. It’s almost like the aural equivalent of a dream sequence from a Nicholas Winding Refn film, or a more depressive version of Chromatics, which, if you’re unsure, is high praise indeed.

As a finale, somewhat surreally, the group decide to drop a cover version into proceedings. “Dead Souls” is, of course, a cover of the one and only Joy Division. While on paper the idea sounds deeply unappealing, the group actually manage to pull it off. It’s almost as if one of Factory Records' later, synthesizer-obsessed groups had decided that Ian Curtis and co. were on the right tracks with the whole Joy Division thing, but could have improved it with a few nods to the darker side of the dancefloor.

With Bad Thing, PINS have ensured that the term “landfill indie” will never be applied to their brand of twisted synth pop. A solid effort from a group with their best days clearly ahead of them.

Release: 24th March 2017, Haus Of Pins

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