PINS are a bunch of badasses, and they really, really want you to know it. If the tongue-in-cheek video for second single ‘Too Little, Too Late’ wasn’t enough to convince you of this; fingers up, smudgy black eye makeup on in artfully sloppy fashion, brows furrowed, chins up in ‘come at me, yeah’ style, then surely Wild Nights will.
The album begins with the confident, striding riff of ‘Baby Bhangs’, which runs along at a slick pace, studded with images of leather-clad folk, heaven, hell, and all that. PINS are probably the most Californian thing ever to come out of the great industrial smoke of Manchester. One part surfer rock, two parts brazen, unapologetic attitude, PINS really impress. While their debut Girls Like Us was a little darker, sounding closer to Siouxsie in its punkier moments, Wild Nights is the summeriest thing I’ve heard all year. PINS sound like they’re coasting around in LA, soft top down, aviators poised, with all the ups and downs of a whirlwind romance and the breeze tickling the tips of their fingers.
Despite there being little lyrical content to really chew on, in its simplicity, the record encapsulates the sweetness, the recklessness, the escapism, but also the uncertainties of youth: “Wouldn’t it be fun to kiss everyone… What will we do when our dreams come true?” they sing, accompanied by sunny guitar licks on ‘Young Girls’. In its hazy, psychedelia-tinged ambience, its little anecdotes appear to the mind like a series of worn polaroid shots of wild summer nights. There’s something bittersweet in it, and incredibly throwback. There’s nothing too original or genre-bending to be heard here, the songs bearing some uncanny familiarity, but it’s a greatly enjoyable album in some ways for this very reason.
Since Girls Like Us, which was a little more rough around the edges (this I liked), packing a harder punch, they have polished up their surfer sound like a car bonnet glinting in the sun. It isn’t all bright slacker rock though, there are some more dystopian sounds in there which are reminiscent of their debut. ’Too Little, Too Late’ is bitier, with a harder rock edge, setting the scene for the last couple of songs, the spiky ‘House of Love’ and ‘Molly’ which exude a gloomier ambience. With the exception of interlude ‘If Only’, the one more down-tempo track- an expression of fragile self-perception and clouded experience: “I spend my days in this haze, I can’t escape”, Wild Nights lets rip like cannon fire. Most songs last somewhere in the region of three minutes, each one a fast, fleeting tribute to youth and lost love. PINS don’t mess around, rocking up in your ears, doing their business, and speeding off again down the road to surf city, which is theirs for the taking.By Sophie Brear