After nearly 10 years in the music scene and a line-up change, PINS have made the transition from rumbling alternative rock to guitar pop on their third album Hot Slick. Since forming in 2011 the Manchester trio have carved out a sound inspired by post-punk, Hot Slick takes this formula and elevates it with a new more vibrant feel.
Self-released via their Haus of Pins label, Hot Slick first full-length album since 2015’s Wild Nights and sees the band explore new sounds; deviating from 2017 releases Serve the Rich’ and Iggy Pop collaboration ‘Aggrophobe.’ ‘Ponytail’ in particular stands out as being a guitar pop banger, being an ode to all that is bold and carefree. Faith Vern opens the track by singing, “I wear high heels with my guitar/ hold my hands up like I’m a star” before breaking into a chant for the chorus “Yes I will be out tonight/ I whip my ponytail from side to side.” Released as the third single, the track is unapologetically pop; designed to fit dancing away in a bar rather than getting sweaty in a mosh pit.
Title track ‘Hot Slick’, produced by Jamie Hince of The Kills, kicks off with synth beats and harmonised vocals; setting an upbeat and fun tone for the album which is carried out consistently to closing track ‘Bad Habit’. Lyrically, the album is a commentary on the world of a modern woman, filled with references to nights out spent with friends and commentary on relationships, best seen on tacks such as ‘Read My Lips” and ‘Ghosting’.
The formidable and defiant girl gang mantra is still present in the PINS formula, with ‘After Hours’ musing about being a “woman in the world,” all while being set to fun synth beats. Bad Girls Forever is another, with the band chanting good girls aim to go to heaven/ that ain’t where we are heading.”
While it’s now more likely to be an accompanying soundtrack to lazy afternoons in parks or gardens instead of late night parties, Hot Slick is an album for those looking for something light, summery and fun.