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What does everyone think of them, then?
This song is good:
make some nice tunes, should listen to them more
and they're all cute as can be. Looking forward to them and Wavves in Manchester.
though they've generated alot of hate on this site for being part of the current "DIY" scene, they write nice songs, and i seem to remember one of them being very very pretty
They can't play instruments, they can't write songs, but because they're cute and female and DIY, everyone loves them. They had the stage presence of three dead gazelles.
I hate this, because women in music are brilliant. There are some wonderful musicians: Sara Lund from Unwound, all of Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill, D'arcy in Smashing Pumpkins, Jennifer Herrema, Georgia from Yo La Tengo, and to be honest it demeans their contributions that people decide to like crap like PENS because the girls are 'cute' and 'pretty' and 'DIY". DIY doesn't mean you don't learn to play instruments or write songs. That's just lazy.
he said despite them being part of the DIY scene, they're actually really good.
I like them
They make me lose my faith in music because they are getting so much unjustified hype. Yes, ability should be no barrier to music making, but there's a certain amount needed. PENS, by not playing their instruments well or writing songs properly are not displaying 'passion'. Passion for something means you learn to be good at it and strive to do something better than before, not to deliberately act all crap so you can fit a cliche.
are you just completely disregarding everyone who likes them's opinions on this as objectively wrong?
their basic song is take a simple drumbeat, shout a bit, thrash a guitar and get faster and faster. Where's the songwriting in that?
Didn't you hear? 'Shit' is the new 'good'.
I'm pretty sure we've all had this discussion about ten million times regarding JuNkPLaNet
what the fuck do you think a song is?
And I don't enjoy the way those things are in PENS' songs.
but whose to say loads of others feel the same? There are plenty of song writers and musicians out there who i am a fan of who have completely different ways of writing songs? There's no definitive way to write certain songs as that would be boring
But the thing with PENS is that it's so one dimensional. I mean, I realise that someone could hit back at me and say "you like hardcore", but I don't hear hooks, or a great riff, or a shoutalong chorus with PENS. It just sounds so disorganised and completely pointless. There doesn't seem to be any climax or aim to their songs.
But yes, I got carried away.
but don't go a) denying that they have those things and, in doing so, basically slagging off the opinion of of people who can hear them or b) making up bullshit about them as people or their motivations
It was firmly in the artistic context. Though it got a bit scrambled.
i only said one of them was pretty, and i did say they werent DIY hence the inverted commas
But I really struggle to understand why they are in anyway deserving of any of the praise sent their way, and it infuriates me.
So sorry, but my opinion stands regardless of what stereotypes or generalisations I'm throwing out, and I'm happy that way.
they have to accept people not liking it and getting at them for it. To me, how they acted on stage (I've seen them twice now as support acts) was confirmation of what I said up there. That's my interpretation, and I don't think knowing them personally has a thing to do with it. I'm rating them as artists, not as people.
had some massive rant about the history of women in music that annoyed everyone, and ive seen them about 5 times live, and each time theyve been entertaining, they dont play up the cutesy girl group image they just play garage rock, fuck DIY what does that even mean these days
and then afterwards they've been drinking and talking loudly. I am inherently objective in my subjectivity. I am basing my criticisms on what I have seen of them!
i'll believe it when i see it!
I've learnt my lesson etc etc, I'll go back to talking about things I like.
But the fact that practically every time they're mentioned you post some reasonably dismissive, unspecific retort, is quite funny.
And especially saying things like they "deliberately act all crap so...[they] can fit a cliche", is uninformed and unnecessary. Questioning their musical ability is one thing, but questioning their motivations or integrity is quite the other, especially considering as far as I'm aware you have no real knowledge of them?
The kicker of the whole shebang is, you could probably be in a band as technically proficient as PENS if you took the time. GET OFF THE INTERNET!! DO SOMETHING USEFUL!!
And saying they're "getting so much unjustified hype" is just wrong, surely? The only times I've heard of them them is when alcxxk mentions them or too_black says how he printed pictures of them off myspace and stuck them to his wall (jks!). Saying they're hyped on DiS is like me at home storming to my bedroom in a mood because my mother says that my younger sister has done well in an exam and she's proud of her.
I spent a long time trying to be good at music- 10-11 years. And I'm not, and will never be good enough to do what I want to do in a band situation.
I understand your get off the internet criticism as far as that goes, but the fact is I am never going to be good enough to do anything which I want to do musically. So I work hard in my boring job, I study and I read. That's my get off the internet. I am going to do something with my life, it just won't be in music.
And they are obviously getting hype, judging by the support slots they've been getting! Someone likes them obviously, as does everyone in here.
I'd hazard a guess that they formed a band to play music they liked, and have fun with friends. The fact that lots of people like it doesn't mean anything, really.
so, you know, i'm a pretty big deal
I love the DIY sound. Shit production, fuzzy, bad vocals = good in my book.
By the man who is producing our single.
You ain't seen me.
I saw Pete at Xmas and he told me about that. I'm glad it worked out.
Thanks for the recommendation :)
but yeah, I'm quite liking it also. So its you and Alc**k and Laura Wolf, both from DiS fame?
Can someone explain this to me please? Pretty please. I really don't understand.
"badly produced on purpose"
"intentionally void of talent"
is 'do it yourself', i.e. no expensive production, using the equipment that is available to you.
Does Tom Vek make DIY music, The Streets, Aphex Twin, Panda Bear... pretty much every electro-based artist out there? And most of the folk ones and um... almost everyone else nowadays.
It seems to be pretty senseless and only used when it's a synonym for bad musicians playing bad equipment but making slightly fun shambolic pop/punk.
Your demo is never going to be expensively produced is it?
What about Kasabian? They did their first album on their own using Cubase.
that explains the overall sound, not just the shitty two liner explanation I gave. You stick with your Kasabian mate.
I think you should apologise to yourself.
I thought Filip was foreign, and didn't know what DIY meant, fu-real.
Given decent recording equipment's pretty cheap and really you need to make a deliberate decision to produce things badly.
What fucks me off with the phrase is it basically takes the credit away from people who produce their own songs off their own backs with no expensive production and do it well and reinforces the slightly silly idea there' something contrived and artificial about someone having talent at production/arranging/playing and something more "genuine" if you don't have a talent for those things.
I thought you were asking totally blind and clueless to what it could be. That was a simple explanation for what I take it to mean, and its also prob the best explanation I can give! I shit with things like this.
I'm sure all the people you mentioned above have spent a damn lot more cash on producing the tracks on their myspace than PENS have.
Of course some of the lo-fi, fuzzy overall sound is intentional, some people like it, me 4 1.
who recorded on four-tracks and got dubbed lo-fi DIY? Four track recorders cost nothing. The second Sublime album was recorded on a 4 track and that's about as amazingly produced as I know an album to be.
I just think there's nothing DIY about it. It's not a genre. Low fidelity just about makes sense. DIY doesn't. Most people do things themselves.
DIY ? lo-fi
and thought they were laughably bad.
If anything is worthy of elitist attitudes, it's that. There's no two ways about it.
It's like choosing Asda Smart Price 2p sausages over best quality local produce, for the sake of it.
but high in the cinema is great, i think. i'm not sure how people are getting wound up by this band, it seems fairly inoffensive.
The thread title is 'what do you think of them?'.
I gave my opinion then saw that link. One thing I will compliment them on is that it was bad enough to make me write another reply, as opposed to just turning it off and going elsewhere.
High in the cinema is a good song. Looking forward to album.
not my kind of thing at all
shambolic, raw, energetic, hooky stuff from time to time but there is shambolic and there is complete turd that is bearly held together by anything. No songs, everything sounds like shite like its played on pots and pans. Plus there is this wacky undertone to a hell of alot of it that really puts me off. People say its just grate pop its just ace pop songs. no its not they aint even popular and they dotn have any hooks at all then they cover what they do have up in shit recording and no skills. Sounds like music for a bunch of smirking hipsters.
all you go on about is fucking dubstep.
I don't see ya point, are you just being a prick cos I dont like something you like?
the thing is, its far far far more enlightening to have somebody posting passionately about something quite foreign to the community than to have circle jerks over the same bands that get mentioned over and over again.
I just don't like dubstep
he doesn't *just* like dubstep. and its pretty dickish to act like bringing a new dimension of conversation to the board or introducing people to things they might not otherwise of listened to is anything but a good thing
then some fuck comes along and goes yeah well you like dubstep...
I have no idea if that is meant to be an insult or something cos it doesnt work it just states a fact.
I love lots of bands, check my blog about half of it is about bands of all shapes and sizes.
this lot used to be looklookdancingboys right? i remember seeing them live and thinking, 'well this is lo-fi's lowest low'. perhaps they've improved since then? i'm going to assume they have.
who else do people think are shit? cos in that yawny thread some were all like "yeah, this whole DIY thing is so bullshit. LERN YR INSTURMENTS, WIRTE PROPR SONGS" etc etc etc and only saw PENS as an example. and i <3 PENS.
Contrived and boring.
The Duloks do this sort of ten times better than they do, better frontwoman, catchier songs, and better song structures.
just so i can compare.
I wouldn't say you could compare them.
3 piece. 3 girls and quite cute/twee imagine and songs. the only difference i guess is the production.
in response to heartbeeps i'd say the one who was doing the lead vocal in that link you posted. i've heard their other songs on myspace and i just assumed that it was the same singer on all the songs but the production is so awful it's pretty difficult to tell.
Don't take that the wrong way though, Mira is an amazing frontwoman in terms of her confidence and banter. Maybe they are amazing, though i have seen Look Look Dancing Boys before and they were pretty awful.
but have agree with your thoughts on Look look the dancing boys, this here is fuckin ridiculous: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bsAojbgQrI0
of the noise scene
because i was going to say that. :)
i think that is actually quite patronising/sexist. i don't think people call best fwends 'twee' - that's what look look were basically like? the only difference is that they are girls. and pens? they're a punk band, essentially. again, not twee. and rly rly different from duloks who, from what i know, are essentially a comedy band with funny songs and stuff.
and fyi - they swap singers.
i don't think they're punk at all. Now i'm not too good at defining what punk is, but i can tell you what punk isn't. and this giggling on stage like they're playing their mate's birthday is not punk really. Look Look were the same, i wouldn't of classed them as punk either. Not that this is a bad thing, i'm sure they themselves wouldn't class themselves as punk.
girl bands i would define as punk are Ipso Facto and An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump. The latter are probably only slightly better musicians than Pens but to me their music is a lot more dissonant. Maybe it's the production values of Pens songs. I mean i don't mind lo-fi but it those songs just don't sound like they are taking them seriously.
saying that the link that Alcxxk posted to their other project is fucking great, better musicians/songwriters than they make themselves out to be!
I hope you still don't think i'm patronising/sexist because i lovelove girl bands of all kinds, from stuff like the Au Pairs and The Slits to Girls Aloud and Shampoo. Most of the bands i've ever played in have featured at least one girl in (it's just how it works out) and one of the bands i'm in now is a girl. I think that's the first time i've been told that i'm patronising/sexist by anyone actually, haha.
but would say they're about as far from being punk as it's really possible to be...
sterility is what defines them for me.
a suffragette gets trampled by a horse.
but seriously, what the fuck do we need crap like this for when we've got bands like gentle friendly, banjo or freakout, ponytail, abe vigoda, pre etc etc etc etc embodying the same kind of ethos and aesthetic, except approx 100000 times better. there's a fine line with shambolic stuff, but i guarantee their image is getting them places rather than anything else. if they weren't three cute girls they wouldn't get anywhere. does it make people feel better about listening to nme fodder when its played badly or something?
also that song in the video is a straight up rip off of skin of my country teeth by clap your hands say yeah, no? same chord sequence, similar emphasis, vocal lines match in places..
I prefer PENS to any of the others you mentioned up there. Nothing to do with there looks.
but fairly mind boggling
It's naive to think that the sound's anything to do with being DIY so much as a deliberate attempt to sound as lo-fi as possible. Which is up to them if they want to do that.
It's not my thing at all though. I don't like the non-performance performance style or the production or think, as pop songs, the songs I've heard are especially good and I just find it shambolic and amateurish in entirely the wrong way.
If other people like it then fair play to 'em but I don't really think its great pop music and am really not keen on this style of music at all.
YOU CAN'T DISLIKE THIS, IT'S GOOD POP! No, it's not. There's no hooks, and there's nothing for me to hum along to.
I realise I got a little agitated up above, so sorry. I'm sure PENS started making music for all the right reasons, and I'm sure they're decent people. But the fact is, as artists, I really cannot stomach them.
I mean even with the "You can't dislike this - it's good pop" disclaimer, I just don't think it applies to Pens and I don't really imagine your average fan of Girls Aloud, Abba or Take That or the Supremes backing up that argument either.
I don't doubt for a second they're nice people (hell, I did a gig with Look Look (Dancing Boys) a couple of years back and one of 'em helped me carry my stuff) and they're probably enthusiastic about what they do. But I'm really not a fan of the music or presentation.
if you dont think the hooks are good, or don't want to hum along to them, say THAT, don't make objective sounding statements that you can't back up
But that video left me feeling a bit disappointed. Is that what they're like live? I don't know why, but I'd always imagined them to be quite wild and fun.
but honestly? initially i thought about it too much and got a bit angry that similar bands i know haven't got anywhere but they have, presumably because they're pretty and hip and not queer/fat/whatevs... but then i decided to stop comparing because its pointless. STOP THINKING & PARTYHARD, that's my new motto.
that they're only remotely popular because they're attractive then ;)
i'm sure the less attractive/appealing people making the same sort of music just have to wait for their lucky break; come 20 years we'll have some sort of 'elbow of lo-fi' moment i hope :)
it's all about the cult following though innit? who honestly makes music like that with the aspirations to 'get big'? they're doing it clearly because they enjoy it and more bloody power to them i say.
two thirds of PENS and another guy
absolutely lovely dreamy stuff. reminds me at various points of The Books, Joan of Arc, the postal service...
dunno if this will make the haters confused, or more angry or what
omgz if they can make muzik like this then obvs they are FAKERS and all this DIY MUSIC they are playing is fake and contrived and absolutely ungenuine. DURR.
Reinforces my view that, nowadays with technology as it is, lo-fi recording is a far more a posture, stance and conscious decision than in anyway a necessity and so basically is as contrived and planned a decision as choosing to record something well but that doesn't make me angry. Just reinforces my view its not for me.
That said, I'm not much of a lover of thesaurus club either. It's pleasant enough but a little bland for my tastes and leaves me a bit indifferent.
i am a musician, of sorts, and i have never recorded anything lo-fi intentionally, tho lots of my music has been described as such. i have more recorded it that way because i don't know how to do it any other way and i don't have the time/money to invest in good mics and computery things. i don't think it's ever been a conscious decision and i imagine a lot of other musicians are the same.
i just wanted to make an IF 1-2-3.
There. I've said it.
Look look dancing boys < Shit.
It's like going to a cafe and having them serve you crayons on toast.
Who is honestly buying into this in a non-ironic way?
so much hate, you may have provoked me into going to see them on thursday just to see what they're like.
(part of my actually going to see stuff rather than listening to it on myspace drive).
I thought look look were quite funny at times (and even had one or two tunes) but then I'm biased.
as it stands i quite liked the song posted in the link. it sounded alright to me. easy listening.
who IS friends with the band?
it's all about you my boy :D
or any cool people
Don't really think they warrant all this attention they're getting though.
BUT IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT THEY'RE YOUNG AND (the female version of) VIRILE AND ATTRACTIVE SO QUIT PLAYA HATIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'd quite like to stick my PENS in the pale one.
You've got people like "Yeah, they're good" and lbc going "No, you're not allowed to like them 'cause I think they're shit" or something, then people going "Yeah, but no, cause your points are wrong" and then lbc going "Ok, fine, I'm just going to go and sulk now - I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY" and it makes me giggle a bit.
I like PENS, don't see anything wrong with them or why they should provoke such angry reactions. It's not like they're making millions or anything out of this stuff, or having one of the members appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, meaning Freddie rockets up the charts (even though it should). So, yeah, I like them. I might go and see them with Wavves and everything. OMG 2 SHIT BANDS 4 TEH PRICE OF 1!!!
I just find it amusing how if this discussion had been about Luke Leighfield no-one would have disagreed with how I was making my points, but because it's PENS, different rules apply.
I am allowed an opinion, the thread asked me what I thought. The whole point of stating an opinion publicly and backing it up is to try and get people to understand the point you're making.
"He has no hooks and no tunes", do they? They make fun of his crappy lyrics and arrogant posturing and STUPID FACE.
I actually focused on the music and their live performances.
ANYWAY I LOVE PENS PENS PENS PENS PENS THEY'RE CUTE AND WRITE GREAT POP.
i'm too lazy to trawl for my posts for it, but i'm pretty sure i said something like "even scouting for girls has hooks and catchy tunes!!"
I only like them because they have a record coming out on De Stijl.
and i really like cinemas a lot. so High In The Cinema is one of my favourite songs of recent months.
Or was that just me?
THEY ARE NOT PUNK
THEY ARE NOT DIY
THEY ARE JUST FASHION
AND WE'LL FORGET ABOUT THEM IN 6 MONTHS
the only thing i've heard is that video and i don't like it at all. but oh well - not really an issue to devote attention to. it's not really a shock it's getting hyped, i guess it's best just to ignore it if you don't 'get it' or whatever.
which makes a change for me!
This is a hoax, right? The drummer looks like Tracey from the Queen Vic circa 1988. CLASSIC LOOK! Then there's the tunes.... OH, BROTHER!
The Duloks totally kill Pens.
their live show is amazing.
banjo or freakout
saw them supporting Jay Reatard at the Lexington, embarrassing
from the crowd that watched them (most had stepped out for a fag at this point) the applause that followed each song was more of an "aw, bless, they're in a band and think they can play their instruments"
3 vaguely cute girls, none of whom can play anything, the old punk ethic rings true, anyone can do it but there are definitely those who shouldn't
drum kit with no kick (just a snare, small crash and a floor tom)
guitar tuned to an open E (so every bar's a major)
keyboard with about 10 keys (that they still manage to play badly and out of time)
It's cool being lo-fi but you know, write some decent songs first and learn how to play, Bill and
and they made world peace happen with their music
They were good, in my opinion.
That is all.
Considering they haven't released an album yet and that nobody has to attend a Pens show if they don't want to, who cares about the rest of this DIY bollocks debate?
Rock'n'roll is about putting on a show. It's not natural behaviour. There's lights and amplified sound. Pine all you want for '4 REAL' punkness or whatever, but the bare facts are that as soon as anybody steps onstage that's an act of entertainment. There's just different ways and levels to how people go about it.
Anyone who gets up tight about a band's perceived commitment to some cause that probably only exists in the viewer's head and the band couldn't care less about is just lying to themselves.
Anyway my favourite DIY rock musician is Bob Geldof. That guy is so real it hurts.
Maybe Phil Collins too. He plays all the instruments himself.
DIY til I die mate...
people are jumping on that like its a big thing and taking it to litraly.
Its the fact they sound shoddy and are a bit shit thats what people are meaning by a kind of DIY sound they didnt mean it in a big scene kind of way. It just means it sounds like they tryed to put up a shelf and it fell down so they recorded it and people thought it was pop.
but it doesn't change the fact that they're fucking terrible and, erm.. put on a show? they didn't even do that
the way PENS have gone about it is typical of most bands of their style, jumping on a sailing ship that ultimately bands like this will sink
About the difference between a DIY ethic and just not putting any care and attention in to the show.
But I can only go on what I saw. Which I thought was good. Messy but good.
Maybe they don't care about the ship sinking. I doubt they have a projected business forecast to be in Abbey Road by 2010. It's just a bit of fun. I don't see why it winds people up so much.
do they sound out of time, shit, badly done and pathetic on there too?
if a band like pens can get hyped, then any band can get hyped. there's absolutely nothing that's remotely special, let alone good, about them. full stop.
but that was offensively bad.
was really good again
I like them, they're great live. I want to be in an awesome all girl band comme ca.
How can people get so wound up about a band like PENS?
And I didn't realise they were "hyped" at all - I've not heard of them outside of this website.
I have fun
Both these things are good
...I almost fell over sleeping when I saw them 'perform'.
You've just reopened the can o' worms. You could've let it lie.
People say things on the internet because it's cold and anonymous. I wouldn't take it to heart. People like getting wound up here. It's the reason why some people are here in the first place. Just let it lie.
and you're right, only 'hipsters' ever use the word 'hipster'. i've said this before.
don't take it to heart, just think of it as the cruelty of the anonymous internet. it's likely way more about whoever posted the nasty comments than it is you.
but, do take it to heart that there are those of us who really like your band, and are really looking forward to you guys putting your album out.
when you have something like that, that you've made and you're proud of, in your hands and people out there are listening to and liking it, what does it matter what some fools off the internet said?
Tehehehehe! *runs away*
I thought LBC was exaggerating when he said "they can't play instruments, they can't play songs". He really, really wasn't. I can't even understand why anyone would like them, but each to their own I guess.
the song played on the above link certainly wasn't, not to me anyway. I can often see why people might like a band even if I don't, but I'm completely stumped with this one, unless their other songs are miles better.
really, perhaps the songs don't really have that much depth but I don't think thats the point and it's fun y'know?
and would be good at cuddling, otherwise idk
anyone heard the album yet?
Freddie is one of my favourite tracks of the year. Would love to see them next time they tour and can't wait for an album.
When i saw Wavves in brighton Amelia told me it should be out in June
They didn't play it at Yes Way though. Jerks.
First song: Hmm. Seriously?
Second song: Hmm. OK. Getting better.
Third song: Hang on, this is pretty good.
Rest of set: Fuck yeah, this is awesome.
I love it when that happens with a band you know absolutely nothing about apart from the name on the gig flyer.
cooler than pencils
Pens, I wanna kiss em in they face holes.
When did they sign to Sub Pop? Have i missed something?
i might give my little brother and his friends a battered snare drum, a broken casio and an argos guitar, and make them promise to never practice within a month of a gig and see if they can get signed by Matador.
De Stijl have done some sort of a distribution deal with Sub Pop, or so I read here: http://www.prefixmag.com/news/sub-pop-to-distribute-de-stijl-records/10514/
De Stijl will release the lp and Sub Pop will release the cd.
39 Clocks cd that just came out on De Stijl is so good.
yeah sort of... but that would give them to much credit.
Just in case the minority of PENS lovers in this thread were not aware of this. It's free entry and everything.
See you there. Stage invasion probable.
PS. Sorry for the bump, I just love this thread!
I saw them with HEALTH a while back, they weren't bad. I was slightly in love with the tallest member.
That was the fateful night John from HEALTH stepped on my foot *swoon*
I didn't know they were splitting up. Lame. Even lamer I can't get to this anyway
from pictures, one of them looks pretty different than they did in person
bad bad bad