Album of the Week January 8th 2016

Hinds- Leave Me Alone

The hype machine has been workong overtime with Hinds for awhile now, world tours, Glastonbury and sold out dates in London have all preceeded this release. The British music press and live audiences have fallen hard for the girls from Madrid but the question remains is the album up to much?

In a week where David Bowie released his latest effort Blackstar seeing him described as rebirthed and as unpredictable as ever. It’s Hinds who sound more alive, perhaps with the naivety of youth but certainly with the excitement of being in a band. And it’s this, a girl gang mentality which so refreshingly shines through on Leave Me Alone. Hinds are a band in it together and when they open their debut album with a track as strong as Garden you can’t help but want to be in “it” with them too.

The refernce points are thrilling; 60s girl pop of the Shangri LAs variety, coupled with California Surf Pop and indie rock circa 2001. It’s a mix which works well with tracks flying past at bottle-rocket pace, yet remaining catchy enough to worm their way into your brain and nestle there for the rest of the day. The best example of such a track is the brilliant Bamboo, a track which Hinds themselves have been rightfully boastful of  and despite the tags of rock and roll past clinging to Leave Me Alone, there is also something fresh about Hinds music much of which,  one suspects, comes from their pure energy and excitement.

One criticism that has been unfairly levelled at Hinds is that their vocals are not particularly strong or well recorded. But this critique misses the point. The ramshackle nature of the vocals on Leave Me Alone add to the sugar-rush thrill of the album, nowhere is this more audible than on the track San Diego.

Hinds have admited to struggling and being fed up with being asked what’s it like to be a rock and roll girl band. It certainly  will be a shame if the music press and public continue to focus on this subject. Because in doing so what will be overlooked is a joyous debut album, which deserves to be taken on its own merit.

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