PTOLEMAIC TERRASCOPE, melksham, england
Pins. Did I mention the Pins last issue? Their LP "Eleanor" on the Carburetor Records label has been growing on me There's something thoroughly enjoyable about the way this [four]-piece band refuse to kow-tow to peer pressure and produce another bastardised Grifters and/or Flying Saucer Attack record, and yet they share elements of both as well as being distinct originals and fine songwriters in their own right who delight in unexpected melodic twists and toe-curling instrumental ideas, with only a deficiency in the vocals department preventing them from leaping tall boundaries in a single building I suspect. Side exploratory keyboard number "Skinner Box" and Side Two's opening cut "Silver" are particularly strong, and I love the distorted guitar sound which courses through "Empire Coat" and others; the album's unarguable stand-out track though is " in Me" which features a screaming guitar solo and a keyboard blitz which comes across like the Neutrons jamming at the Roadhouse circa '73. Great silkscreened artwork, great concept - and if tapes of the band's more recent material (this LP dates from 1995) are anything to go by, the future looks pointed (the tape I have is entitled "Valve" and is, I promise you, worth hearing).
CITY PAGES, minneapolis
Mineapolis College of Art and Design graduation has been a well-kept secret of fabulous art/rock happenings over the years. This year it's open to the public, and will feature a live set by the Pins, one of the coolest new bands to emerge--well, this month, anyway. At the Spectors farewell, this slightly psychedelic garage rock foursome brought down the joint by jamming on "Louie, Louie" and "Cars" by Gary Numan--simultaneously. But seriously folks, their original five-song demo Pintangle was legitimately brilliant. Drummer [Beth], a specialist in percussive sculpture, is a member of the MCAD class of '95, and will be doing an installation/gig for her senior project--complete with PINata. Go and cheer loudly, or [Beth] might get held back. (And if you really hate school, the band is at the Fine Line Monday. . .)
The Pins put out one of my favorite local releases last year, the self-released Eleanor, a hand-knit batch of songs owing not a little to the Galaxie 500/Luna school. But they have a bright, shambling charm of their own. Ironic, though, that their best song could be "No Ambition"; I guess we'll see.
The Pins are one of those old-fashioned song-oriented rock groups, with a nice mix of spacy slackness and passionate ennui.
FISHEYE DISTRIBUTION, farnborough, england
Charming guitar pop band from Minneapolis, USA, with a definite Flying Nun streak running right through their bones. ghosts of Bob Scott ( Bats ) and Graeme Downes
( Verlaines ) live on in vocalist Rich Barlow. Also found are some healthy Rob Bannister
( Fire in the Kitchen ) guitar licks and a moog not doing the fashionable post-rock thing. Reminds me that I don't to enough pop music these days. Rather lavish hand screened sleeve.
POP NARCOTIC CATALOG, boston
This debut release came as a very refreshing and pleasant surprise. This Minneapolis band plays music that doesn't fit into any one category. Instead they blend a mixture of low key psychedelia, K Records style twee pop and Feelies style rhythms. No matter what the style is on a particular song, everything is infectious and fun. Although the lo-fi recordings make things sound a bit non-distinct and compressed, the songs rise above these limits.
FANZ MAGAZINE, minneapolis
One of the most fun and original bands I've seen in a long time.
The Pins are:
Beth AKA Dinette Set: drums, vocals
Jim AKA Chet Propulsion, Tidy Cat, The Modern Boy: bass
Steve AKA The Experience: keyboards
Rich AKA The Freshmaker: guitar, vocals
The beauty of The Pins is that they remind me of a lot of different bands that I've liked without overtly sounding like any one them. Gang of Four, the Buzzcocks, Captain Beefheart, the June Brides, Syd Barrett, and T.V.B.C. all came to mind at some during their set. They play twisted pop songs, sponataneous chaotic instrumentals, and what's more, they have the balls to use a keyboard.
The Pins are four very different creative minds. Rich's paintings were shown last month at Thomas Barry Galleries. Steve does iconoclastic poster art and has produced many designs for the band. Beth is a film student, who just made a zombie movie, for which the Pins wrote the soundtrack, and she is starting work on a music video. And Jim, well, Jim's the Modern Boy.
Rich - Jim is the Modern Boy. We didn't name him the Modern Boy; we found out he was the Modern Boy.
They come ready-made for a record contract.
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