For a band who’ve accrued some pretty decent hype recently, played on BBC 6 Music, raved about in Dazed and the new album generally being well received, PINS are still lo-fi as anything. Wandering around the gig they chatted to people in the crowd, complained about their colds and provided some pretty enthusiastic support for their own support bands.
Liverpool based Sankofa played first were on first and it seemed like a lot of the crowd was wondering about how a self-professed psych band would stand amongst the Post-Punk drenched September Girls and PINS. Despite the difference, they played a pretty great show, their intricate bass lines spiralled lovingly through a series of extended, wah pedalled guitar notes which was really quite summery, injecting a warm and fuzzy tone into an otherwise dark evening. They were followed by tour support September Girls, dressed to the nines. Hailing from Dublin the 5 piece put on a brilliant display of lo fi noisepop, their angular guitar fighting through a deep dark bass section, so muddy as to highlight the contrast excellently. The three part harmony of the band was affected by some technical difficulties and left many unable to make it out any of the vocals at all. It may be testament to great songwriting skills then that the tracks still sounded great vocal-less. By the last three tracks though the Girls had found their stride and closer ‘Green Eyed’ sounded glorious by contrast, the vocals ringing true through the haze of distortion.
PINS finally arrived all in black, lead singer Faith staring dead straight ahead, mannequin like. She played their opener ‘Lost Lost Lost’ in jerking, erratic movements, while bassist Anna yelps into her microphone to create the sprawling sounds underlying Faith’s terse vocals. The dark image and their reverb drenched tracks seem to almost be at odds with the obvious enjoyment they’re all having, guitarist Lois sings along to every word of their tracks, obviously relishing the ability to do what they do. They blistered through their new album, a much more confident act than what we had seen a few months ago at Sound City, the new material is just as dark as it ever was, it swells rather than soars, but there is a lack of the messier reverb heavy rhythm of those earlier shows, a sign possibly of greater confidence. The tracks sound beautiful and huge in scope, the relentless nature of the set means that one quickly becomes another as they play 16 minutes without a pause. It is ‘Love u 4 Lyf’ which really crashes into the crowd, the downtuned bass rumbling under Faith’s repetitive chorus. It seemed to encapsulate a problem of PINS’, musically their industrial post punk is as all-consuming as you could want it, but the lyrics frequently stray into oddly pop territory, ‘Get With Me’ being a prime example of a want of lyricism which is disappointing under such a great soundscape. Despite this, PINS still deliver a great show, the depth of sound a brilliant thing to behold.