Leave Me Alone is wildly more mature and diverse than most garage bands could ever really hope to be.
It might be January, but listening to Hinds’ Leave Me Alone makes it feel more like summer. The Spanish group, who up until a few years ago were the duo of Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote under the name Deers, have allowed their debut LP to emote all the feelings and attitudes essential to making a classic garage-rock/pop album: nonchalant love songs, breezy guitar solos and peppy, chanted choruses. This all-girl quartet comes off as confident and silly, serious and fun, but all that just scratches the surface of the power this record holds.
What is patently clear from the first listen is the multitude of contemporary and classic garage bands Hinds conjures with these twelve tracks. Elements of Mac Demarco and Lou Reed blended with a Sleater-Kinney touch of punk allow them to operate with a sense of ease so many other bands try to embody without success. What you get here is a mixture of upbeat tracks and slowed-down love songs that create a pace that makes all of them perfectly suited for this record—a record that is far more than just a mix of influences.
As far as catchy tunes, Leave Me Alone has them in spades. The third track, “Warts,” has a feeling of genuine joy that so much garage music lacks. It’s sort of funny, has cool, nonchalant guitar licks circling throughout it and has a chorus that anyone can sing along to. The same goes for songs like “Chili Town” and the album’s opener “Garden.” But really, the entire album, once it finishes, begs for another spin.
Unlike many other bands playing around in this genre today, Hinds is not a one-trick-pony. Leave Me Alone is actually pretty diverse—which is what instantly sets it apart from so many other records of the like. You can tell that Hinds isn’t just making these songs to be a prototypical garage-rock band, but creating music out of a sense of genuine affection for the genre.
“Easy,” the album’s fourth track, is a bit more subdued and sentimental, but it adds a layer of maturity to the mix. Its slower verses lead to energetic choruses that seamlessly ease into a pensive interlude. Similarly, right in the middle of the record, listeners are met with the soft, almost quaint instrumental “Solar Gap.” Maybe it’s a little bit of a lull in the action, but it’s a well-timed break from the norm and is a testament to the precision of the pacing.
What really surprises is the softer backend to the album. Songs like “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back” and “I’ll Be Your Man,” when paired together, add a tender, loving tone to a record that leans toward straight-up energy early on. “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back” hides itself in some ways behind goofy lyrics, but the emotions that crackle beneath the words are real and raw. The same is true of the mostly acoustic track “I’ll Be Your Man” which, again, shows a different side to the group—a welcome side—adding to the understanding that this band isn’t trying to emulate their influences as much as they’re attempting to craft a love letter to them while adding their own stamp of ownership.
With their 2014 EP, aptly named Demo, listeners got a taste of what Hinds is and, to be honest, it wasn’t anything spectacular. But now, with a world tour under their belts and their first LP on the shelves, it’s time to get excited for their future. Leave Me Alone is wildly more mature and diverse than most garage bands could ever really hope to be, and it’s clear from these twelve songs that Hinds will be making waves and setting the bar higher and higher for a good long while.