New Zealand's Pin Group emerged out of the early '80s Christchurch scene and, with just two stunning singles and one brilliant five-song EP, have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since.
Ambivalence was not only The Pin Group's hypnotic debut, but also the very first release on Flying Nun. While guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries and drummer Peter Stapleton build off each other's jittery riffs, Montgomery's uncanny baritone pierces the torrential clangor. Conjuring both Wire's Chairs Missing and VU's White Light/White Heat, the band captures a truly unique sound – evocative, yet austere.
Wasting little time, The Pin Group released Coat in November 1981, merely two months after their first single. On the title track, Humphries' distant vocals call out as tense rhythms gradually push listeners over the edge. B-side track "Jim" could easily have been recorded in Manchester circa 1979, but remains a master class in NZ post-punk atmospherics, menacing from start to finish.
The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band's dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, "Long Night" and "When I Tell You" make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure.
This compilation brings together all three releases.