Sadly for the fairer sex, the phrase girl band still conjures up images of talent show ‘winners’ with no musical ability to speak of. Sure there have been successful female-fronted bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and recently the likes of Haim, but all-girl bands are strangely thin on the ground. Yet Manchester quartet PINS are brimming with enough talent and ambition to stop the rot.
The band have had the Internet frothing at the blogs since the release of their debut single 11th Hour in May 2013. Since then, more recent releases just seem to have intensified the hype. Whether it’s the fact they’re an all-girl band, they’re part of the resurgent Manchester scene or that they’re just more interesting than what’s out there at the moment doesn’t really matter, PINS are the next big thing-in-waiting.
Interestingly, lead singer Faith Holgate had previously been the frontwoman in other bands with largely male influence, but it seemed Holgate failed to impact her musical ideas. Since finding three chics to form PINS, Faith Holgate has flourished. It may be a cliché to say the members of PINS have a ‘sisterly bond’ but it feels like they’re so in tune, so tight they may as well be telepathic.
The likes of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain are clear influences, and Holgate also confesses to greatly admiring Courtney Love’s Hole (no pun intended).
From their most recent single Stay True, one thing is abundantly clear from the start – bass and the drums dominate, whilst the guitar is there to add texture on the surface. For this track, the ladies said they wanted to capture the idea of ‘gang vocals’ and succeed in giving it a menacing feel. I’m scared just listening to it. They manage the difficult trick of creating melody from aggressive bass lines. There are serene moments of calm before the pounding riff kicks in again and Faith half-whispers, half-threatens “Get out of here…”
LuvU4Lyf is two and a half minutes of thunderous garage pop, drummer Sophie Galpin is working overtime while Faith hypnotically wails, “They wanna take me down…” To borrow a Hollywood phrase, they start with an earthquake and build to the climax. When the band moves onto bigger venues, as they undoubtedly will, this, I’m sure will be one of their set openers. The middle section sees the band churn into life as though all that came before was just practise while the end is surprisingly sweet and succinct.
PINS are currently signed to Bella Union, who released LuvU4Lyf last year. The band hasn’t been content in their role as the enfants terrible of the Manchester scene though; they’ve also created their own label, Haus of PINS.
The Manchester quartet are currently embarking on a UK-wide tour before releasing their first album Girls Like Us on the 30th September. Although the band have been very forthcoming with releases, none of the tracks from the album have been previewed, suggesting they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves. Watch out, PINS are coming.