The four women in Manchester-based post-punk outfit PINS share a friendship that’s almost as intense as their deeply brooding music. They’re a gang – a “taut rebel unit” according to the press release accompanying debut album, ‘Girls Like Us’ (Clash review).
“We go around beating people up,” jokes frontwoman Faith Holgate, who’s perfectly friendly over the phone. “We bring out the loudest in each other and get a bit rowdy.”
At early shows their noisiness converted to near-instantaneous interest from the local scene, and a limited-edition cassette of tenebrous early track ‘Eleventh Hour’ sold out faster than you could say, “Where’s my Sony Walkman?” But the attention was double-edged: “We were attacked a lot at the beginning with people focusing on the fact we were girls, saying that’s the only reason we were getting attention.”
One person suitably impressed though was Bella Union co-founder Simon Raymonde, who made the trip to see them playing with London’s Savages in The Bunker – home of independent Salford label SWAYS. He met them outside after their set and said he’d be sending a record contract the next day. “It all sounds romantic looking back but at the time we were like, ‘Shiiiit!’”
Freshly signed to the label – also home to fellow Manchester-based act, MONEY – they went back to The Bunker and recorded ‘LUVU4LYF’, an EP soaked in haunting reverb with soaring industrial guitars providing atmospheric depth. The album followed, and its positive reception reaffirmed its makers’ potential.
So what’s the manifesto of this girl gang? “Our favourite thing to say is FU. We’re making FU T-shirts!” Holgate says proudly. “We’ve got a few releases under our belts and we’re very proud of our album, so we’re not going to take any shit.”
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What: Darkly intense post-punk
Get 3 Songs: ‘LUVU4LYF’ ‘Get With Me’, ‘Girls Like Us’ (video above)
Fact: When Faith formed the band she never intended to sing.
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Words: Simon Butcher
PINS have a Christmas song out. Seriously. Have yourself a listen to 'Kiss Me Quickly (It's Christmas)'.
The new issue of Clash magazine is out now, featuring a wealth of awesome new acts to check out. So go check it out, please?