Album Review: Hinds – Leave Me Alone

With the release of their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Leave Me Alone’, Hinds melt away the January blues with twelve songs full of attitude, charm and Spanish warmth.
The Madrid quartet started out as a duo called Deers in 2011 before Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote were joined by Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen in 2014. After changing their name last year to avoid legal action from a similarly named band they have been touring like troopers and, at last, we have an album from them.
When I first heard their faithful cover of Thee Headcoats’ ‘Davey Crockett (Gabba Hey!)’, I wasn’t sure what to make of this Spanish foursome. It was fun, it was ramshackle, but I couldn’t find it endearing. I mentally dismissed Hinds while all around me seemed to be clamouring for more. Now we have more in the form of ‘Leave Me Alone’ and I was curious to discover whether I’d agree with the critical acclaim.
Album opener ‘Garden’ slowly eases you into their low-fi garage rock sound and their lyrics that describe relationships, both good and bad. These aren’t traditional love songs, though. If there is hurt, a feeling of being bruised but not broken comes across.
The dual vocals of Cosials and Perrote complement each other throughout – sometimes in call and response, sometimes singing over each other, but always bizarrely harmonious. On fast and furious ‘Castigadas En El Granero’ they bounce lines between them like a beach ball. On the stripped back ‘I’ll Be Your Man’ their vocals are sultry and sound simply breathed into the microphone.
‘Solar Gap’ is a pretty and tantalising instrumental that may seem like an odd choice for a band who aren’t interested in playing polished music. The result is just another demonstration of their confidence and passion.
Throughout the album there is more than a hint of surf rock, as on the swaying ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ and the breezy ‘Chili Town’. Catchy hooks with addictive riffs permeate and the percussion shifts from standard drumming to unusual tapping. This is all wrapped up in album closer ‘Walking Home’, which is my favourite track on first listen.
They may be described as garage rock or indie pop but I can’t help but conclude that Hinds are at the forefront of a new wave of punk. There has been a growing DIY ethic aided by the availability of a variety of recording methods and access to a hungry world of online listeners. This band is a perfect example of what can be achieved when you use these outlets and simply go for it. Cosials and Perrote picked up guitars, jammed and started writing and recording songs together without trepidation. They released those songs without hesitation. Their motto is “nuestras mierdas, nuestras reglas”, which literally translates as “our shit, our rules” and I believe them. This isn’t hype, this is them – and I love it.
I am happy to admit that I was wrong to dismiss them. A debut as strong and fearless as this is impossible to ignore. We are barely a fortnight into 2016 and Hinds may have already produced a contender for album of the year.
‘Leave Me Alone’ is out now via Lucky Number.

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