Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bands To Watch: PINS

By Jesse Mullen

I have been putting off writing this column for too long. The band you are about to read about has had far too much of an impact, on me and my life, to not write it eventually.

That band is PINS from Manchester, UK on Bella Union.
(image courtesy of VIES Magazine)

The quartet (now quintet)’s members are: Faith Vernon (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, tambourine), Lois Macdonald (lead guitar, backing vocals), Anna Donigan (bass, backing vocals), Sophie Galpin (drums, backing vocals), and new touring member Kyoko Swan (keyboards, guitar, tambourine, backing vocals.)

Their music combines elements of Punk, Post-Punk, Noisepop, Neo-Pyschedelia, and Shoegazing, with a bright, crisp pop edge. What makes them truly great, however, is how they combine these well-worn elements into something that is truly their own.

The key to their sound is their immediacy. My first reaction, when hearing the band’s music for the first time, via a live bootleg recording, was how strong their sense of melody was. But, after re-examining them, that is just one of their many gifts. The four original members have such a strong chemistry, and kinship, that it’s obvious that none of them are replaceable. This became even more obvious after last fall, when Anna broke her leg in a cycling accident, forcing her to take a sabbatical from the band. When PINS went on tour with an interim bass player, she joined the band in spirit on February 27th from the balcony, getting much love from the three original members onstage. In between songs, throughout the night, Faith was talking directly to her, at one point saying “Come back we miss you!” When it came time to play “Waiting for the End,” one of the highlights off of their debut, loud popping noises could be heard from above. It was Anna, setting off cans of streamers from the balcony, as a pre-planned stunt by the band. This humorous brand of mischief has turned up in interviews as well. When being pressed in an interview last May, about what made them so good, Faith replied “I don’t know. We were born this way, I guess.” with a grin.
(image courtesy of PINS/Bella Union)
While their debut album, Girls Like Us, contained hints of promise, it had some weaker cuts, and an overall lack of consistency. This is soon to change however, as their upcoming record, Wild Nights (June 8th on Bella Union), contains track after track of prime material. From the dark, twisted sound of “Oh Lord,” to the jangly folk of “Dazed By You,” this record tops their debut on all fronts. First single “Too Little, Too Late” has a dreamy hypnotic organ line, and a mid-tempo pace, until the end, when it speeds up and comes to a grinding hault. The B-Side is a cover of “Hybrid Moments” by The Misfits, which they have been playing live for quite some time now. Their version is the rare cover that improves on the original, and manages to make it sound like one of their own songs.

(image courtesy of PINS/Bella Union)
Second single, “Young Girls” is perfect three-chord sugar-coated noisepop, right down to Anna’s loud “Ow!” at the end of the chorus. Former title track, now re-titled “Molly,” seems to depict either a drug trip/addiction with the titicular substance, or just simply a wild night with someone named Molly. Key lyric; “You look so good when you’re sad/You look so good when you’re bad.”

(image courtesy of PINS/Bella Union)
So what’s next for PINS? World domination? possibly. Universal acclaim for their new record? I’d bet my life on it.

1 comment:

  1. Links:

    official site:



    Bella Union Label: