PINS – Girls Like Us

PINSPINS, a Mancunian all female four piece have created their androgynous debut Girls Like Us.

The album opens with “It’s On”; a tense introduction with a dark monastic sound. The album then starts proper, with the title track giving a punchy garage rock sound, without any real oomph. “Get Like Me” motors along with a PJ Harvey style confident rhythm, but disappointingly peters out and ends prematurely. If it were a novel, the final few pages would be missing. Much of album operates in this manner, meandering from one track to the next, without any sense of narrative or direction to the work. “I Want It All” slowly builds and descends, culminating in a bizarre twenty seconds of rather out of place drumming and guitar. This leads into “Waiting for the End”, which ironically is a rather upbeat, jaunty piece of post-punk. Similarly “Howlin” is a sultry, melodic track, which for no obvious reason twists into the original Batman & Robin theme.

One can imagine Andy Warhol, menthol cigarette hanging limply from demure lips, nodding approvingly. I prefer to see musicians wearing their heart on their sleeve. The simple drumming works, but is repetitive. This is especially noticeable between “Mad for You” and “Lost Lost Lost”. Likewise, the warm reverb heavy guitars carry a rich sound, but chord patterns are overused. Given the simplicity of the instruments, the clear vocals take center stage. PINS’ regional accents and their empowering gender assertion - highlighted by the album's title - give a relatively unusual sound that is both unpolished and endearing. However, the lyrics do not resonate: “I think I’m lost, I think I’m lost, I’m lost, I’m lost, I’m lost…” is too obvious a cliché to give a real emotional response. “Velvet Morning” is unlistenable piece of spoken word poetry - it is intimate - but the album doesn’t work hard enough to reward an emphatic response to it.

There are too few all female indie rock groups, and PINS should be commended for letting their music do the talking. Being a self produced debut album, PINS can be applauded for creating an original honest work; however, the album lacks direction and a je ne sais quoi for repeat plays.

Release: 30th September 2013, Bella Union

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