[PINS: Live at Art School 11 October]
Conscious that my oversized hoodie and baggy jeans mark me as an outsider to the sharply attired denizens of the upstairs bar, I descend into the basement of the Art School Union (luminous fruit beer in hand) in search of some female-fronted alt-rock, and find that a curious bunch have arrived in town.
First up, Spread Eagle play a short set of lovably clunky garage-rock in the vein of The Cramps. Their sole male member delivers chunky riffs whilst facing away from the audience, the drummer bites her lip and flails away and all four look as if they could have just wandered in off the streets. As the strident guitar and fiery vocals fade away it’s a tribute to rock n roll in its purest, least fucks given form. I loved these guys and felt they deserved better than the sparse crowd who had assembled at 8.45 to witness them in full swing.
Rising Edinburgh duo Hooneyblood channel a similar garage-rock vein, albeit with better outfits. Drummer Shona McVicar has perfected the bored thwack of Meg White, but matched to some rather one dimensional guitar lines they struggle to make an impact, battling against the Art School’s intermittent sound issues. The soaring vocal line of single ‘Biro’ and reverb heavy Silversun Pickups-like guitar are promising harbingers for the future however. They return to Glasgow at Bloc on October 31st.
Midway through their first national tour, hotly-tipped quartet PINS have the look and the presence to go far, but there’s still a sense that the songwriting is waiting to catch up. They’re at their best when they’re at their edgiest, ushering in spooky basslines and ominous drums that elicit startling whoops and yelps from vocalist Faith Holgate, but only ‘LUVU4LYF’ and ‘Say To Me’ sound like album material thus far. All four command the stage well and draw appreciative nods from the crowd, but they still haven’t quite escaped the orbit of Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey and Warpaint just yet.