Hits like a punch to the gut.
It’s hard to write an overarching, unified thesis on this record, Wild Nights. One could talk about the bands that influenced PINS or about the feminist streak in their work that can be traced back to the group’s formation or about their tour supporting Sleater-Kinney. However, it is difficult to follow that approach without the result feeling obvious, diminishing and reductive – this record and this band deserve better than that. The fact of the matter is that, from the get go, this record hits you like a ton of bricks and maintains a charged intensity for the duration of the album. Below are some of the highlights.
“Baby Bhangs” kicks off the record with a face melting wall of distorted guitars. It features a three-note riff and chant-like monotone vocals; the song’s power is rooted in its simplicity. Add lyrics painting a stark image of the party scene from a jaded perspective into the mix, counterpoint them with an angelic backing choir, and the result is magic.
“Got it Bad” is a bluesy lament, a psychedelic torch song, that moves from surf rock into a full blown wall of sound. It starts small, almost intimate, with a solid sonic and lyrical core. As the song unfolds, more energy and force grows out from that core before ending with a long fade out.
“If Only” is one of the record’s poppier tracks. It features Beatles-esque chord changes paired with vocals that seem to be borrowed from an early 1960’s girl group. But the sentiment its lyrics present, a sense of ennui combined with feeling misunderstood, is definitely heavier than the jangly overtones would suggest.
“Everyone Says,” the record’s closer, can be read two ways. First, as a song of defiance, shouting down one’s naysayers. Second, as a song of sadness, a song of someone trying to figure out why everyone is being critical of their life and being unable to see the problem for them self.
All of the songs work on multiple levels both musically and lyrically; it is as intricate as it is simple, as defiant as it is inviting. There is no fluff. There is no filler. PINS’ Wild Nights just works.