Hinds – Leave Me Alone: charming, but outdated
HINDS, PREVIOUSLY known as Deers, have been building up a fan base for quite some time now. The Spanish garage rock band are known for their upbeat songs and relatable, peppy vocals. With that comes a certain amount of anticipation around their debut album, the angst-ridden Leave Me Alone. This weirdly titled album is set to a backdrop of all too familiar musical territory.
Throughout Leave Me Alone, Hinds rarely abandon the musical mantra created in the early 2000’s, which has been championed by better bands. It feels outdated. The garage-rock-revival sound is now stale and boring, but Hinds somehow stick to it throughout all twelve tracks. With this comes lyrical content that feels, at times, unimaginative, dry and uninspired. It sometimes sounds like someone reading out a 17 year old girl’s diary, with content discussing the beach, drinking and relationships. On first listen, Hinds aren’t exactly bringing anything revolutionary to the table.
But if you look past the somewhat bland top layer, there’s something that keeps you from hating this album. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia talking, but there’s a certain charm to Leave Me Alone, whether that be from the raw vocal performances, the simple, yet effective song-writing or the or reverb-laden guitars. The opening track, ‘Garden’, for example, that opens with some punk guitars and a pounding drum beat and feels like an excerpt from an Indie film. There’s a decent groove to the closer ‘Walking Home’ too, which acts as a decent outro to the album. ‘Easy’ is another snippet of lovely nostalgia that brightens up the otherwise drab parts of the album.
There are certainly bands of the same genre who are producing worse things than Hinds. There aren’t many times on this album where Hinds are reduced to simply chanting the same phrase on loop like we’ve seen on some recent release (see: Palma Violets). Instead, Hinds have an infectiously upbeat tone that makes even the blandest songs feel somewhat excitable. Their vocals are especially enjoyable as well; the personalities that wrap themselves around their voices make each song feel individual. But there isn’t much to keep the listener from forgetting this album; no infectious riffs, choruses or notable lyrics, it’s a pity.
While this album isn’t revolutionary, or even refreshing, it’s not awful, and I certainly didn’t detest it as I have other albums of this genre. Hinds have a charm to their music and voices that really brings their personality to the forefront. I just wish the songs were better. Garage-rock is an outdated format and Leave Me Alone feels like it should have been made 10 years ago at the earliest. Hinds have the potential to write good songs, but their musical attitude drags them into the dark ages.
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