Pins - Wild Nights
The clue, we thought, was in the name. Pins: holding things (barely) together. Or hints of voodoo. Witchcraft. But the excitement of early, low key shows and off-the-radar releases dissipated with 2013's Girls Like Us, a charmless collection of naive garage rock that sounded like it had been concocted the day before setting foot in the studio. Even so, the Manchester quartet have recently been playing with the likes of Wire and Sleater-Kinney, proof that someone, somewhere continues to see promise.
Wild Nights rights some wrongs by sounding less throwaway (it was recorded in California) but the indie garage affectations persist: no-nonsense beats, twangy guitars and fingers pressed firmly on the button that says 'lots of reverb'. The trippier, swirling 'Curse These Dreams' and Fall-like repetition of 'Oh Lord' show more ambition, but overall they struggle to rise above a tidal wave of similar-sounding surf-psych outfits. At their best ('Young Girls' is catchy but you wouldn't want to type that into Google) Pins can stick, but too often seem content to settle for generic genre tropes. Wild Nights? More like cocoa and lights out by ten.