Hinds: Leave Me Alone | Virgin Media
Hinds: Leave Me Alone

Hinds: Leave Me Aloneby Matthew Horton | Rating: ★★★★

08/01/2016Music

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After two years of singles and EP, Spanish all-girl fourpiece Hinds release a debut album of huge charm and tunes.

Is guitar music dead again? Not if Hinds have their say.

The Madrid-based band are giving indie the shot in the arm it needs every half-decade or so, picking up the mantle from The Libertines, say, and The Strokes before them – bands that gave extra impetus to the trad guitar/bass/drums set-up just when it needed it most.

David Bowie: Blackstar

It's taken Ana García Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen a while to get to this point. First single Bamboo appeared at the start of 2014 and it still makes it onto this, their debut album. They're clearly not stockpiling a huge cache of tracks, but no matter because what we've got here is quality control.

Quality in the strength of the songs, that is – not necessarily in refined playing. Hinds make a racket, always teetering on the edge of control, but it's never anything less than gloriously melodic. Perrote and Cosials share vocals, meshing like Pete and Carl, John and Paul, Geri, Mel, Victoria, Emma, Mel again… ripping the mic from one another and squeezing out lines between cascading, chiming guitars.

Hinds make a racket, always teetering on the edge of control

Garden's like a ramshackle Television, Perrote and Cosials drawling coolly like Tom Verlaine; Warts is winningly lazy, a laid-out Strokes; Chili Town barrels through choppy garage-pop, brash and untamed; San Diego all fuzzy and raucous over reverbed surf riffs. Every song feels feral, loose from the cage, but Hinds never lose sight of their pop nous. Leave Me Alone would only be a mess if you couldn't hum every second.

It all coalesces into a terrific finish, with Walking Home abandoning an early boogie to give way to a slow-burning, flowering chorus that lingers long after they down tools. Hinds will tighten up in future; catch them while they're still raw.