Nuestras mierdas, nuestras reglas! Translated the phrase means our shit, our rules and it’s the motto of Madrid, garage quartet Hinds. It’s also a perfect way to describe the self-created sound and energy that their debut Leave Me Alone delights listeners with.
Despite the kind of anti-social and aggressive energy that the title Leave Me Alone conjures up, listening to the album is a totally inclusive feeling. Hinds and their infectious sass make you feel included in their girl gang. Whoever the album title is aimed at, a few songs down and you’re also in on the feeling and ready to tell the accused to fuck off and let you carry on partying with your new Spanish BFFLS…or is that just me?
Already famed for their infectious and ever-smiling disposition, it’s easy to see that Hinds are having a total blast and that’s reflected in their fresh and fun tracks. With their overlapping vocals and brawl-like delivery the emphasis on a collective and party vibe is hard to ignore. It’s this togetherness that gives Hinds an edge over other bands like their beloved The Strokes, purely because they have the brilliant quality of making you feel like you’re a part of the party not just wishing you were there. Hinds have previously made their love for Mac DeMarco and The Strokes known and seeing their excitement at receiving a signed poster by the latter while being interviewed by Nardwuar highlighted the endearing excitement and energy that the four-piece throw into their tracks. Both influences can be felt on Leave Me Alone as well; DeMarco’s sound is re-vamped and translated by Hinds with their more punk, New Wave translation, whilst stand out track Easy features a guitar solo that could have come straight from the strings of Albert Hammond Jnr.
Highlights also include the sangria-fuelled Chili Town, Castigadas En El Granero with its faster pace and slightly more in-sync vocal arrangement and the punky, garage beast of record, San Diego. Hinds also show that they aren’t afraid to explore emotions detached from their charmingly cheery sound. ‘I want you to call me by my name when I’m lying on your bed’ complain singers Carlotta Cosials and Ana Garcia Perrote on Bamboo while a slower poignancy clouds the ‘fucked up mess’ of a relationship described in And I Will Send Your Flowers Back. Finally, the feisty spirit of the Spanish gang is epitomized in penultimate track I’ll Be Your Man with all the girl-powered, assertive strength you could ask for in the lyrics, ‘I don’t need no games, I could be your baby, but I’ll be your man.’
I guess it’s kind of cheating in January to say that Leave Me Alone is my album of the year but Hinds have raised the bar and it’ll definitely take a lot to knock it off the top spot. Hinds are youthful, fresh, fun and all of the other clichés that come with a young band who’re totally owning their self- created sound and loving every second of it. Leave Me Alone is like a spontaneous summer night out; there’s dancing on tables, sunburn induced haziness and drunken texts to an ex and the next morning you’re ready to join the fiesta all over again.