Hinds (formerly known as Deers) are an all-female, four-piece Spanish band hailing from Madrid, Spain. Their debut album ‘Leave me Alone’ delivers on the promise of their prior single releases and sarcastically titled EP ‘Very best of Hinds so far’. Whilst not being particularly innovative, the album is a very fun listen, with a blend of indie-pop and garage rock utilised well, reminiscent of bands like Smith Westerns.
The album kicks off with ‘Garden’, a summery song released as a single last year, which sets a fast pace for the rest of the album, with it being the only song longer than four minutes. Raw production suits the album well, particularly the grainy vocals which resemble the bratty snarl of Girlpool. The lo-fi approach complements the excellent performances of vocalists Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote, which are a different beast all together when their voices combine. The poppy electric and acoustic guitars merge with the garage rock indebted rhythm section very nicely.
‘Fat calmed Kiddos’ and ‘Warts’ continue on in similar musical vein, with strong, classic garage rock vocal combinations and fun choruses driven by the tight rhythm section of Ade Martin on bass, and Amber Grimbergen on drums. However ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ contradicts the message of the LP title ‘Leave me Alone’ and betrays the upbeat instrumentation, by pleading “please don’t leave me”, hinting maybe everything isn’t so rosy after all. Themes of love and relationships are explored throughout the album, particularly on ‘Warts’ with the lyrics “don’t let her waste your time//don’t let her close your eyes”. ‘Easy’ is a slightly slower song, with a moody sounding guitar, whilst ‘Castigadas en el Granero’ has a stop-start introduction leading into a sun-flecked, surf rock verse and chorus. ‘Solar Gap’ is a slow, suitably placed instrumental track, with a woozy electric guitar tone sounding like the embodiment of summer.
The lyrics in the second half of the album all involve the minefields of romance, with ‘Chili Town’, another single released in 2015, containing the lines “I am flirting, with this guy// so you can watch my crime”, this is then altered later in the song to “I am flirting, with this guy// just to pretend I’m fine”, wonderfully describing the underlying sadness and mundanity entailed in flirting. ‘Bamboo’ is a lush, upbeat song, packed with giddy euphoria and romantic hope. ‘San Diego’ has a glorious, ramshackle feel with a simplistic ‘dah dah dah’ singalong chorus and continues where the upbeat ‘Bamboo’ left off. ‘And I will send your flowers back’ takes a break from the carefree breeziness of the rest of ‘Leave me Alone’, describing the demise of a relationship. A moody, solitary guitar backing the vocals during the intro, setting the scene for the most intimate song on the album, with Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote sending out a heartfelt fuck you to anyone guilty of romantic injustice, brilliantly encapsulated in three lines “And I will send your flowers back// What goes around comes around// What a fucked up mess”. The girls are then all smiles again in ‘I’ll be your man’, where soft vocals chime “I’ll make it simple// I don’t need no games”. Hinds then close on the same wide-eyed romanticism deployed on Bamboo, with the garage-rock/indie-pop combination working masterfully, finishing on the declaration that “you’re the love of my life”.
The band fully explore the peaks and troughs of romance via their bratty, almost-chant like vocals, as well as showing fragility and tenderness underneath the raw, garage-rock production. Hinds may not re-invent the wheel, but the album is a blissful, summery plethora of tunes happy and sad that make for an enjoyable listen.