PINS' DEBUT Girls Like Us made many friends for the Manchester quartet, but the album was more a demonstration of their latent potential rather than a full realisation of it. Two years later and it's a different story.
Wild Nights is, in terms of songwriting, performance, and sonic impact, a giant step forward. While the influence of Joy Division, and more particularly the Dum Dum Girls, is clear, the album's 11 songs nonetheless reveal the band at their most confident and assured to date, as evidenced by the take no prisoners, three-note, fuzz drenched riff of opening track 'Baby Bhangs'.
The band's punk/post-punk ethos remains intact on one of album's key tracks, the atmospheric 'Oh Lord' - recalling a sexual encounter (or fantasy ) with no details spared: "He pushed me back upon my bed/he pushed real close and then he said 'Oh Lord!'" Held together by its driving bass riff, the song switches between dense sounds giving way to areas where silence and the space between the instruments matters as much as what they play; and strong vocal declarations contrasted with blissful, wordless intonations - a rather successful sonic recreation of the saucy subject matter.
Wild Nights also finds PINS embracing a wider array of styles, and delving more into vocal harmonies, without actually sacrificing their trademark gritty post-punk. 'Got It Bad' is a modern, tougher take, on fifties/sixties style girl group pop; while the brilliant 'Dazed by You' is more in the melodic-indie/shoegaze vein; both also reveal PINS' more romantic side in contrast to the lustful 'Oh Lord'. Another highlight is the swaggering 'Too Little Too Late', a break-up/friends fall out song, which is far more about empowerment and independence than getting upset.
PINS have fully and properly arrived with Wild Nights.