An industrial turn with pop gloss mixed in for good measure...

After returning earlier this year with a string of strong singles, it’s clear PINS have dedicated the past three years to creating a glossier, more spirited collection of work.

Self-releasing on their Haus of PINS label, this transformative process has been clear from the stepping stone that came in the form of their 2017 EP, ‘Bad Thing’. Bright visuals, cleaner sounds, and an Iggy Pop feature saw the Mancunian girls depart from the dronier sounds of their earlier work without sacrificing their anthemic grit.

With ‘Hot Slick’, PINS set themselves the often arduous task of incorporating a stronger presence of synths in their sound without coming across as muddled or inauthentic.

The Kills’ maestro Jamie Hince returns for some of the production work - his influence strong in his production on the album’s lead single and title track. By far the longest song on the album, where layers and layers of industrial rhythms followed by a strong guitar moment. The song - like all of the album’s best parts - commands hypnotic tension just as much as the need to dance.

The album falls short when it gets to its most anthemic places, with ‘Ponytail’ and ‘Read My Lips’, opting for style over substance. The girl-gang style harmonies work best on songs like ‘Ghosting’, where the pacey momentum of chants ‘we’re going nowhere - we’ll go anyway’ work perfectly with the swirl of crunchy beats.

As far as collaborations are concerned, Fat White Family’s Nathan Sauodi is credited for providing synthesizers, and PINS’ collaboration with fellow Mancunian Leather Party serves up the perfect combination of grit and light, with ‘Love You To Death’.

The palette of sounds draws from evident influences in New Order, Bronski Beat, bands that capture nightlife in all of its vibrancy. Leaning heavily on repetition in sound and substance, the band themselves cite more modern references, such as Soulwax, as some of the driving forces behind developing this layered, neon-tinged feel.

A sound accompaniment to a decadent dance party, ‘Hot Slick’ is a move in the best possible direction for PINS.

7/10

Words: Shannon McDonagh

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