A more melodic, but sadly less meteoric record than their debut LP from two years back, Wild Nights is a good case in point of a band losing its verve through refinement. When PINS recruited QOTSA producer Dave Catching in 2014, it seems their intention was to fine tune what was, admittedly, a very raw debut sound. Unlike its 2013 predecessor Girls Like Us however, their second creation lacks that edgy spark that marked them out as one of that year’s most exciting new groups. Replacing their coarse, basement grunge sound with soaring, blues-oriented melodies may have had the desired effect of making PINS sound more palatable (and the impact on the overall texture of the record is certainly a positive one) but the band have suffered by losing their verboten charisma in the process – ultimately sounding a lot less bothered than before.
Intent on merely going through the motions early on, the Manchester quartet spend the first half of Wild Nights settling into their “new sound” and, despite a few inspired moments such as enticing, hook-driven opener ‘Baby Bhangs’ and luminous pop offering ‘Young Girls’, many of the album’s opening tracks sound far too laboured to generate any level of excitement. Essentially a record of two halves, things begin to pick up for towards the end – hazy, post-punk offerings ‘Too Little, Too Late’ and ‘House of Love’ adding some desired spice to proceedings – but these are just flickerings of brilliance in an otherwise fairly stringent affair.