Highlights: Girls Like Us, Get With Me, Howlin’, Lost Lost Lost
I will probably act all boring and puerile, but I honestly don’t want to hear these flatulent one-minute intros anymore. Open with a bang, for Christ’s sake. You are not doing an opera, you are a few-frills, all-girls, post-punk revivalist band that wants (I can only presume) to leave some sort of mark in the year that has already seen credible rock critics salivating all over Savages’ first album. Which was an all right album – one, however, that took itself way, way too seriously.
And it's quite simple really: PINS have better songs.
In fact, the only thing missing on Girls Like Us is one mind-blowing, walls-shattering, no-questions-asked classic. Admittedly, some songs do get very close, like the title track, which is the sort of opening statement that has it all. It starts with an ominous sounding bass guitar, then explodes into a simple, mildly anthemic verse melody propelled by an absolutely timeless, shrilling guitar line, and then climaxes with the memorable and inevitable “girls like us” chant. Not a second wasted. What follows is a thrilling outburst of consistency and modest creativity. “Mad For You” has an amazing bass-based groove. “Get With Me” has a chorus to kill for. And on and on like this. The welcome detours are the spoken-word “Velvet Morning” that manages to be both pleasantly noisy and mesmerising and the closing “The Darkest Day”, which masterfully conveys its title: all doom and gloom, but the taste it leaves is in fact extremely satisfying.
In short, brief (34 minutes) and compelling. Solid-good without being particularly overwhelming. And then there’s of course the linguistic trick that is this album’s title. However, all I can say about it is that I’m not a girl yet I do like them. Unlike that album by Mamas & Papas, which was awful. So well played, PINS.