May 29, 2024

Hinds – Leave Me Alone


8th Jan, 2016

The opening track, Garden, is one of the strongest of a strong set and a great taste of how much you’re going to like this (quite a lot, I reckon). It moves from hammering guitar into shambling and a wall of jangling guitar and drums. Hinds are the European inheritors of the garage band mantle, with the same lazy but perfect rock and roll of The Velvet Underground live, circa 1969. Except they have a few decades of influences and some rushing surf-pop sensibilities to showcase, too. Throw in a Jeffrey Lewis underground feel as well, and the loose-limbed love of acoustic rock and roll that Jonathan Richman has. Distorted lead lines and fuzzy backdrops make for a more or less perfect independent rock album.

You don’t get to sound so magically artless by accident – some careful work has been done to make something so simple and apparently straightforward. Hinds are a 4-piece all-female band from Madrid, not a city I associate with an artform as American as this one, yet here they are, sounding as natural as if they were birthed by Yo La Tengo. Ana and Carlotta share lead vocals, crossing over lines and intertwining without actually harmonising. Similarly the guitars are a fuzzed jangle, tinny and on the edge of holding their tuning. Instead of locking, these guitars jangle simultaneously or one backs the other’s solos, creating something that seems simple but isn’t.

Other significantly typical tracks are Solar Gap – a lovely simple instrumental, down-beat but with lonely picked lead guitar echoing around – and Bamboo – a nagging riff and breathy interjections. In all, the lyrics in English work great, often less cheery than previous work but still full of the excitement of being alive.

Hinds are fun and easy-going but bursting with excitement, like a sunny day spent in a cool cellar with your mates and some guitars. I’m throwing my hat in the ring on this one – it’s January and this is going to be one of the very best records of the year.

Touring the UK in February – best go and check them out.

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