‘The Queens of Neon’
PINS - Hot Slick
Haus of Pins LP, CD, DL
In these very strange times of viruses, lockdowns and social isolation, even more than ever we need distraction from this so called ‘new normal’. It was a random trawl through Bandcamp (and a few pointers from music website Popoptica) that led me to PINS. Something about the colour, vibrancy and strong statement of their cover artwork for new album Hot Slick drew me in. The music certainly needed further investigation.
As some background Manchester based PINS are made up of singer/guitarist Faith Vern, guitarist Lois MacDonald and bassist Kyoko Swan. I am obviously late to the party because this is PINS third album. Previous collections ‘Girls Like Us’ and ‘Wild Nights’ received blessings from the likes of Iggy Pop and positive reviews from Harpers Bazaar, Interview Magazine, The Guardian, and Stereogum.
Third album in and throughout the tracks the band do exude the strength and independence that the cover suggests. Talking about this latest project the band said, “We do what we want though. It’s simple. We’ve learned how to present ourselves. Bold colours represent being strong. So, we’ve embraced those in the music, art, and aesthetic. Strength should be the main thing that comes to mind when you think of us.”
The music itself is a rather cool mix of punk attitude, big electro beats and nightclub hangovers. Think of an unruly alliance of Grace Jones, New Order, The Chemical Brothers finished off with a dash of flamboyant disco. The single ‘Ghosting’ is a good example of their energetic sound. It’s all driving beats and intense vocals. The sort of track you want to hear in a club, three hours in, stoked on vodka red bull and ready to disappear into your own head.
Bag Girls Forever
Title track ‘Hot Slick’ is probably my favourite. Borrowing a bassline from Donna Summer’s I Feel Love it drives into your head and every so often shows you that it means business with a few bars of fuzzed up guitars. Whilst ‘Bad Girls Forever’ fly’s the flag for Women everywhere with its empowering lyrics. Indeed the band say of the song “There are still some girls who are frightened at shows and don’t come out. They’re not confident enough to be on stage. It’s our job to make them feel like they should be. The song’s just for the girls.”
What I like about this album is the small interesting details, it’s what separates this LP from the also rans. ‘Daisies’ has a delicate Indian synth section, ‘Bad Habit’ a New Order style guitar line and with ‘Set Me Off’ the Bowie ‘Fashion’ vibes are evident. These influences all help make for a more fulfilling listening experience.
Credit should also go to Rich Woodcraft who oversaw the entire project as producer and engineer, while Jamie Hince and Dean Horner contributed additional production and Nathan Saoudi of Fat White Family lent his talents on the keys.
I love the album and I hope you will to. Hot Slick will be available digitally, on CD and standard black vinyl as well as limited edition orange vinyl available exclusively via the PINS Bandcamp store and independent retailers.
Let me know in the comments if there are bands you have discovered via Bandcamp it would be interesting to hear from you. Please also share this piece on social media it’s how blogs like this survive!