Next Monday (30th September) sees the release of quite possibly one of the best debut records of the year. It is also one of the best records of the year. It is nothing short of perfect, and if you think Haim’s debut is the one you should be fawning over- then you are wrong.
Girls Like Us by PINS is not for those who are seeking lyrics full of “I love you’s” or soppy sentimental songs. They are dark, they are mystical creatures who are coming for your souls. Aside from Savages, no other band is really doing it. PINS are from Manchester, and everyone knows Manchester after New York is THE most important place in the world. Manchester gave us The Smiths and The Fall. New York gave us Punk. Does anything else really matter? No, not really. PINS are the backbone for cowards. PINS aren’t afraid to throw a middle finger to those who wish to sound like everything and everyone else. PINS are going to blow your mind and eardrums.
As I listen to Girls Like Us, I realise very early on what this record reminds me of. I’m always seeking music that makes me feel like I’m discovering The Jesus And Mary Chain all over again. PINS do exactly that. They remind of The Birthday Party mixed with Captain Beefheart with a slight hint of Siouxsie. In a dream world, PINS would be supporting Dum Dum Girls in December in London. If either band see this, please make it happen. They have this incredible sound that makes you want to grab stuff and throw it. I sadly can’t do that because I’d get into trouble. Maybe I’ll throw some bread out of the window later, at least a bird will eat it.
The bass on I Want It All is INSANE. It is so brooding and captivating. It has a stalker vibe to it; like someone is following you and just will not leave you be. That nagging thought in the back of your head that creeps to the front of your head, and will not leave you alone until it consumes you. Girls Like Us is a record that will consume you; it has to. It is also a record that makes you want to move to Manchester. I miss the North of England. I miss its dull skies and glorious architecture. I miss Northern accents. One day, I’ll go back.
PINS to me aren’t just a band, they are a silent movement- for now. When I wear my PINS shirt (I pretty much live in it) I feel like I’m wearing a shield. A form of protection. If someone was to stop me and ask what my shirt was about, I’d just tell them it was a movement about to happen. PINS aren’t a band that are going to be played to death on commercial radio; they are a band that are going to last for years and years with a cult following. They have that tight-knit feel about them. The band seem to have a gang mentality to their sound, but that doesn’t make the listener feel excluded. As if they are on the outside looking in. If you truly get it, you feel part of it. The band become a huge part of you straight away. How many bands recently have done this? Not that many.
They are effortlessly bold with their sounds. They don’t pull ridiculous faces when they place, their words mean something, their sound is distinctive and brave. They are not like everything you have been force-fed. I feel PINS have created a record that so many have been searching for. They have a mixture of 60s girl group and Nick Cave about them. I have no idea what people are saying about PINS and their debut record, but I doubt anyone will be saying anything negative about them, how could they!
For me, Girls Like Us is a record that will be regarded as a fantastic debut in years to come. There is something about it that stands out above the rest. Nothing about Girls Like Us sounds like it’s an act. It is entirely pure and perfect. As I listen to Faith’s vocals, I cannot help but feel grateful that a band like this exist. Her voice is powerful and assertive like Patti Smith and Shirley Manson but on some tracks there is a hint of vulnerability there. When a singer does this, I have one always in mind- Courtney Love. Faith pretty much nails it. The band is tough and expose feelings you are probably told to press down on and ignore.
Girls Like Us feels likes a fight. The record ends on The Darkest Day, and this sounds like the aftermath of a fight when you’ve calmed down. Staring at your bloody knuckles and your bruised face- squirming at what you see, but proud you stood up for yourself (I’ve never punched anyone by the way.) Girls Like Us is a unifying record which will hopefully push female musicians to get out there and be heard. We really need more strong female musicians. Being strong isn’t wearing stupid outfits with fire shooting out of your bra. That isn’t empowering, that is downright stupid. Pick up an instrument, be loud and do everything with all the heart you have. Play with fury and do not compromise you or your beliefs. That is what you get when you listen to Girls Like Us. You’re no longer afraid; the passion will drive you on.
When I listened to Savages debut record, I felt like someone had pushed me up against a wall and punched me repeatedly. Confusion took over because I wasn’t sure what was going on. I felt sore and destroyed after I listened to it; it conjured up raw feelings that is lacking in most. That is what I want from music. That is what should come from music. Thankfully PINS do exactly that.
Their debut record isn’t even out yet, but I am so excited for what else is to come from PINS. They are evidently, here to stay.