Four young ladies from Spain deliver a three-cord guitar driven throw-back that features elements of garage rock, 60s Velvet Underground lo-fi production, with a punk aesthetic. Hinds’ debut album Leave Me Alone is a propitious, auspicious indie-rock gem. They pen their own tunes, are paying their dues on the road, and are not some manufactured gimmick.
Leave Me Alone
Mom & Pop Music (2016)
Last Spring Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrote, Ade Martin, and Amber Grimbergen collectively known as Hinds touched down in Austin, Texas ready for their first ever SXSW experience, a week long daunting, juggernaut Austin musical showcase that is attended by the cream of the crop music journalists who have seen it all and heard it all. One bad set is all it takes for a scathing review to end something that has barely started. The audience is just as unforgiving. Hinds came, played, charmed, and absolutely slayed their first SXSW experience. The band played an impressive sixteen shows in four days! Dirty sneakers, sweaty interviews, no sleep, and old school “get in the van and play” ethos. They played their hearts out with a joy that was infectious. Hinds ended up as one of the best-reviewed acts and garnered accolades from Rolling Stone Magazine and Pitchfork. I was mesmerized to see a group so happy and grateful to be playing. They were not trying to be cool. Hinds were there to play not for themselves but rather for the audience. Lately it seems most young acts have lost the fun that rock can evoke. Johnny Ramone would always tell young bands to “remember that you are playing to people who have shit to do, but yet here they are, play like you care.”
I was mesmerized to see a group so happy and grateful to be playing
Hinds took that acclaim and momentum back to Spain to complete their debut. Instead of rushing and riding their newfound critical attention, they retreated to the studio. A bold and borderline reckless move in this day and age for sure but given what Hinds is aiming for not surprising.
The opening track Garden is a wise beyond their years musical execution that builds and sways setting the tone for the adventure ahead. Carlotta and Ana trade vocals, back and forth until they sync up during the climax. A magical connection that only happens when the one you play with also happens to be your friend. Ade’s bass and Amber’s drum fills might seem causal and unassuming but any good musician will tell you “keeping the beat” is no small feat. Ade’s bass on Fat Combed Kids thumps and evokes the late gentle giant great Arthur Kane from The fabulous New York Dolls. San Diego and Castigadas En El Granero are the album’s most memorable tracks, filled with bravado and swagger most indie-boys have seemed to have lost. Exes will rue the day they crossed these ladies by playing games behind their backs. Solar is a tender instrumental 3 a.m. comedown from a night out. No vocals. It is totally unexpected and the demo-like ambience produces a tender melody.
The biggest obstacle the band runs into is that English is their second language. As an individual whose first language is not English, I sympathize and admire that the group lyrically went for it in a language that isn’t theirs. Lyrically speaking that might cause for a few anecdotes to get lost in translation. Most who have reviewed them have omitted or simply not taken into account that some of the lyrical limitations are due to language barrier. While I concede to those critics who feel that at times the lyrics are one of the album’s weakness, I counter with what Alice Cooper once said “none of it matters if you don’t have the songs.” The original rock and roll misfit of the night is right. You can be the best lyricists in the world but if the cords and drums don’t gel good luck. Well I assure you Hinds have the songs. Leave Me Alone offers plenty to admire. Lastly, Hinds are not a promising new “girl” band; they are a promising new rock band.