Fresh to the pop-saturated ears, charmingly familiar to the genre, Hinds’ delightfully unrefined début will grow on you.
It’s practically impossible to dislike a single thing about Hinds’ debut album Leave Me Alone. The whirlwind pace of the band’s rise from their first released songs in 2014 under the name Deers, to this, hasn’t changed how fresh they sound. The opening track ‘Garden’ makes the perfect first impression: hard-strummed chords ramping into a more secure rhythm for the first 30 seconds, before minimal drums and the raspy, accented, and ever so slightly off key vocals of Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote, arrive. The central sliding guitar riff is summery, but more importantly it’s utterly youthful, full of the singular exuberance of playing around in a band with your mates. This feeling never leaves the album. If you were to take anything away from it, it should be that.
Their lyrics have a frankness to them, combined with a sometimes punchy, sometimes plainly flirtatious delivery. The garage rock genre’s frequent dominance by men makes it refreshing to hear an all-girl group so clearly bonding. They sing about exes on the break-up number ‘And I Will Send Your Flowers Back’; they scream rebellion against parents and fairly lousy lovers on ‘Castigadas En El Granero’; that flirty side comes out in the surf-rock style ‘Chili Town’, with the refrain “All that I’m asking for is you to make a move!” Their laid-back, yet often perfectly pitched sound practically inspires you to ring up three of your most mildly musical mates, and drink three beers before picking up a guitar.
Yet something’s ever so off about this. At a brisk 38 minutes, their album breezes through 12 tracks, and although only the brief, plain instrumental of ‘Solar Gap’ is completely forgettable, the rest are all too eager to leave the memory. While Leave Me Alone’s garage rock is a breath of fresh air to the often over-saturated synth-pop market, everything about it feels familiar and without much daring to go along with it. Half the songs feel like variations of each other. But none of them are poorly crafted. The magic of their rough sound, mixed with a few killer riffs, is a literal miracle.
Leave Me Alone is out now via Lucky Number.