PINS - Girls Like Us

by Miz DeShannon Rating:9 Release Date:2013-09-30

Months ago, in Liverpool: squashed against a wall in a dingy basement, dim lights, cheap beer, thumping squealing and melodic noise encompassed my first experience of the PINS girls. And it felt good, exciting. It felt right, at last.

So many girly, leftfield-pop, indie-drone, whatever, whatever bands have been out in the last few years, and after a few listens, everything seems to have lacked depth. Cute songs, cute harmonies, but no edge to pick it up again a year later and still say, "Fuck, this is good". Or even say that in the first place, rather than, "Hmm, this is nice".

So a year or so later with PINS, I'm still saying the former. One thing and another has meant missing gigs, not getting the gold cassette which sold out in a day, and resorting to waiting, patiently, nervously, for the full album. Made by a bunch of regular girls, this album is a show of faith for where they've been - the good, the bad and the ugly; the line-up changes; the European tours; the underground shows; the sell-out singles - and a big "so what" to all of it.

You couldn't get more girl power. As Faith herself said of the opening track, 'It's On', they wanted to "Kick off the album by letting listeners know that we are ready for a fight if they want to take us on". And it continues to tell listeners that this is a hard thing to take on for anyone else, with seconds-long fillers of verging-on-tribal wails, and bass solos Link Wray would be envious of ('Interlude'). At 14 tracks they're putting it out there. Some tracks melodious, some repetitive; the songs echo their gang-like nature, of individualism, of power as a whole and of general menace, in a nice way - this is far from screamo metal menace.

There is contrast and craftsmanship in Girls Like Us. Sure, there's a plethora of typical sounds, with the vocal feel of Frankie Rose's output ('Play With Fire'), a lot of Siouxsie Sioux too ('To You'), no unusual lyric subjects, (love, loss, existentialism, personal survival), and twangy guitars blended with reverbed bass and thudding drums ('I Want It All') is no unusual feat. But it's the arty experimental interludes and intelligent composition in and around the tracks which sets this album aside from so many others. It's the layers and sounds, fantastic writing, strength and intensity, the sense of taking trends by the balls and spitting them out in a blast of post-punk noise.

What else to say? Someone tell me when they're bored of post-punk influences and PJ Harvey warblings, and I'll shut up. Anyone who can hit out with this kind of thing as a debut after so big and dramatic a journey in their formative years is pretty hot stuff.

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