Scuzzy Madrid four-piece Hinds have been populating hype lists left right and centre for a while now, so its fair to say that anticipation for their debut album Leave Me Alone is high.
The album oscillates between keeping you waiting with lazily drawn out sections and regular bursts of high-energy bounce, endlessly tantalizing the listener (and a crowd on tour when it comes to it). From the outset of opening track ‘Garden’ you’re greeted with the sunny guitars and hefty slice of unapologetic exuberance that form the album’s constants. Vocalists Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote are a treat, ever shifting between harmonies, round-style sections and the almost maddening but indubitably catchy “wababibabiraba” x10000 of ‘Bamboo’ (lifted straight from the Hinds Bandcamp page). This slightly ridiculous edge is one of the most charming things about the record: track names of ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ and ‘Warts’, while slightly disturbing, are a bit of silly fun (not to mention the game on their website – see www.hindsband.lol). Musically it’s not the most breathtaking – the album’s built on simple riffs and guitar melodies (although the déjà vu from their repetition is slightly odd) – but it doesn’t need any more than that for Hinds to make it their own.
It’s not all a sunshiney romp though – gently waltzing interlude ‘Solar Gap’ conjures up the Virgin Suicides prom scene, a gorgeously sweet and stripped back opportunity to take a breather, and the surprising poignancy of back to back slower numbers ‘And I Will Send Your Flowers Back’ and ‘I’ll Be Your Man’ add a little more depth. While you might find yourself washed into the easy-going sound of it all, it’s worth keeping track of the lyrics too for some brilliantly wry moments: “I am stealing your cigars/Just ‘cause they’re closer than mine” in ‘Chili Town’ is a gem of a one liner to listen out for amongst many. It’s an album that really does leave you wanting to join in – and as a band that welcomes stage invasions, hopefully we’ll see similar scenes at Brudenell in February.