Review | Manchester pop/shoegaze outfit PINS fill their ‘Wild Nights’ with contradictions

PINSWild Nights

Wild Nights

[Bella Union]

Wild Nights, the second outing by Manchester-based PINS is an album filled with contradictions: it is a fun record about partying that still somehow manages to be drab and grey. It has a certain air of cool and self-assuredness about it while also feeling like it’s trying too hard. It feels like they’re trying to be a sort of modern-day UK answer to Hole or L7 while struggling to muster the requisite bluntness or anger. However, there is a certain charm about all of their idiosyncrasies for the most part and it doesn’t hurt that Wild Nights is so strong musically.

Opener ‘Baby Bhangs’ has a sort of slowed-down HAIM single quality about it in the sense that it is melodic and poppy. Yet, there is a passivity about the production and the pacing that allow it to almost pass for shoegaze. ‘Young Girls’ continues in this vein while ‘Curse These Dreams’ is one of the few times that they really let go as lead singer Faith Holgate poetically describes staring at the ceiling late at night over soothing harmonising, thumping drums and scratchy guitars. It is moments like this when PINS are at their best – there is a genuineness about songs like ‘Curse These Dreams’ and later tracks like ‘If Only’ (“Most of the time I feel wrong…I get so lost/I want it all to stop”) that is endearing.

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Wild Nights struggles, however, when it tries to focus on said wild nights. Songs like ‘Oh Lord’ and the awful ‘Molly’ – inexplicably chosen as the second single – are enjoyable if you’re not really paying attention (and simply looking for Cool Background Noise) but there is a lack of maturity and artistry about them that is problematic. The former, about a one-night-stand (“He was the best stranger around/He kept me up when I was feeling down”) sounds downright ridiculous, like a teenage attempt at literotica while the latter is a ham-fisted metaphor about a ‘friend’ who keeps you up all night partying. The music is good enough that PINS can get away with these frequent lyrical missteps but it is something of a shame that this is the case.


This all probably sounds a bit harsh because they’re a good band and this is a good album. There is so much talent and personality here at times that it is all the more frustrating when their content rings so utterly untrue. Other highlights like the meandering, trance-like ‘Got It Bad’ and ‘House of Love’ with its distinctive, clappy drums show that there is a good amount of range in their repertoire as well. PINS aren’t quite the finished product just yet but they’re absolutely onto something. If they can refine their sound and their message a little more then there is a huge amount of promise here. They don’t quite realise it on Wild Nights but they come admirably close.


Featured Image Credit: JacksonxJoshua