9 April 2016

Hinds - Leave Me Alone


Hinds are an indie band from Madrid. They were originally called Deers until the threat of legal action forced a change of name in late 2014. Leave Me Alone is their first album and it's not a bad way to start.

The first track, Garden, begins with a ramshackle guitar intro that settles into a slow, 60's style song that harks back to a simpler time, the lyrics are straight forward but delivered in an slow, almost lazy style until the we get close to the chorus where the tone ramps up. Speaking of the chorus, the rest of the group joins in, lending body to the lo-fi vibe. A good beginning.

Fat Calmed Kiddos is a 50's style tune that, for me, reminded me of the shadows, the point guitar work is very effective. It's a catchy tune that comes to life quite quickly, then slows down with that lovely guitar support. Pitching up and done, it's a nice song that ends nicely.

Warts begins slowly, a steady beat with flat initially flat sounding lyrics that soon veer into almost Placebo style singing. Whilst never reaching it (the tune keeps in grounded in almost ramshackle territory), it really does hark back to the Placebo's mid-nineties high.

Easy is a brash medley, keep the ramshackle vibe of the previous track, veering almost to self parody. In fact, it's borderline uncomfortable to listen to, there is no harmony or overall theme. Yet, despite this, it works, don't as me how, but it works.

Castigadas En El Granero brings back the strong 60's style guitar intro that leads to a boppy little song, full of life and vigour. Think 90's fem-rock mixed with the Shadows(!). Half way through, it does get a bit dreamy/wavy before ramping back into a strong, brash finish.

Solar Gap begins slowly, like a sunny day by the lake, drifting into a melancholy instrumental that you can just imagine playing at a seaside fair. Yeah, it's that hard to describe, but it works, delicate yet powerful wearing its lo-fi heart on its sleeve that does not outstay its welcome

Chili Town is another vocally jarring track that is harsh on the ears, yet again, the style works, charming rather than offensive, a song that I happily found myself bopping to. Coming across as almost amateur-ish, this track more than any of the others sums up the soul of Hands and is the best track on the album.

Bamboo starts with a quiet bass that expands into a simple yet punchy beat that the lyrics seems in jump on like a delinquent cat on a sleeping owner. Loud, over-powering, they do, at times verve onto the painful, so maybe they required a bit more shaping at the production desk, but overall, an effective and (almost) enjoyable song.

San Diego is a an almost traditional, happy go lucky track, about as traditional as Hands get. Simple in lyrics with a really catchy beat and lovely accompanying work, the vocals are almost shouted with joy to overcome the instruments. In fact, I dare you not to have a smile on your face by the time the song ends!

And I Will Send Your Flowers Back is the opposite of San Diego, slower, sad, almost depressing, the duelling vocals work effectively, neatly grabbing the mood of the title and act almost like a post party come down, yet it's still enjoyable, even with the loud, rough ending.

I'll Be Your Man is the penultimate track, again a simple beginning that follows on from the previous song, similarly sad but it soon feels more uplifting, the layering of the rest of the band picking up the pace. This is the cathartic release of I'll Send Your Flowers Back and it's beautifully performed. Yep, we're back to feeling good now.

Walking Home is a jaunty finale, jumpy and quick, well, compared to the rest of the album. The clashing vocals are back, giving texture and body to what could be a generic song. Contradictory? Maybe, but it provides a nice way to remind the listener of the charms of Hinds and it ends on a happy fade out.

So, what score to give? On first listen through, I admit, I wasn't blown away. It was only the second and third occasions that I felt I got the point of the album, and it's a belter. Overall, I am giving this an 8 - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart. Very well done, Ladies, I look forward to your next album!

Top track - Chili Town

You can follow the band on Bandcamp here

You can buy their album on Amazon here

You can follow them on Facebook here

You can listen to them on Deezer here

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