Hinds – ‘Leave Me Alone’

A vital shot of garage rock from the tight-knit Spanish quartet

Spanish indiepoppers Hinds have already found a larger audience for their music than would seem likely from its boisterous, lo-fi clatter. Only operating as a full band since 2014, last year was a busy one for the quartet – starting with a name change, from Deers (boring Canadians The Dears threatened to sue), and continuing with a world tour and plentiful festival appearances. None of which did much to polish up the sound of debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’, whose 12 songs dance among the murky territory between garage rock, old-skool Brit-indie and classic girl group styles.

Hinds’ stated influences are relatively modern, the likes of Ty Segall and Mac DeMarco notable among them, but listeners can be forgiven for reaching back further. ‘Garden’, a paean to going out dancing which opens the album, is punky but wistful, with equal proportions of indie jangle – think the infamous C86 scene – and Velvet Underground fervour. Guitars are often treated with surfy reverb (‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’, a title which may have lost something in translation), employed on 1950s-styled instrumentals (‘Solar Gap’) and twinned with bizarre-sounding percussion that recalls early-80s postpunk heroes like The Raincoats and Young Marble Giants (‘I’ll Be Your Man’, debut single ‘Bamboo’).

Part of what makes ‘Leave Me Alone’ such a blast is the impression it gives of Hinds as a tight-knit girl gang, on and off record. The dual vocals of Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote help, as do songs like ‘San Diego’ – its chorus is yelled with glee, complementing lines like “He couldn’t stay here one more night / So take me to the beach, alright!” Meanwhile, in ‘And I Will Send Your Flowers Back’ Hinds deliver the ex-boyfriend-skewering number that every album of this type should have – sonically tender, but a textbook girl group iron fist-inna-velvet glove.

The sleeve art of ‘Leave Me Alone’ seems to say much about Hinds’ outlook: a pointedly amateurish snapshot of the quartet, whose posing is less rock’n’roll and more ‘out on the town, quite possibly drunk’. There are few airs and graces about this band, which is one of the keys to their vitality.