Hinds—previously Deers, but in the face of legal action with Canadian band The Dears, they cleverly changed their name to the Spanish word for female deer—bring you their debut album after a long period of hype and anticipation. Was the wait worth it?
These young ladies from sunny Madrid take an American blueprint and serve up a deliberately lo-fi, fuzzy, reverb-laden brand of garage rock that’s been done to death. While doing nothing new, they certainly look like they’re having fun. Some moments are reminiscent of the Pixies and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and there are oodles of 1960s surf rock influences.
They can barely play their instruments. There are flat notes aplenty and they sound like they’ve only just graduated from their bedroom, hairbrush as mic, to the stage—but that’s the golden ticket with this sort of music. Musical aptitude takes a backseat and the more ramshackle the playing, the more the charm. The flaws on this album are likely to be what proves to be appealing for fans of this sound.
However, the enthusiasm can only be a crutch for the rather average songwriting for so long. They seem like a band that is better seen live rather than listened to on CD. In person, their mistakes and inadequacies can be covered up by their infectious energy.
There are nice melodies here and there and the occasional glimmer of what could be more than the tired lo-fi garage retread, giving hope that they may grow into something special. But they certainly aren’t there yet.
Disregarding how repetitive and pedestrian the songs are, you may find this album easy to listen to, and could use it as background music when concentrating on something else. My first listen to this record went through one ear and out of the other as I watched, through my window, two tom cats fighting in a back alley. Mesmerized, I watched the furry critters partake in a stare-down that seemed to last an eternity. I wondered which of the two would make the first move. Finally, the small white cat plucked up his courage and inched towards his adversary to be rewarded with some swift claws to his face. The poor little cat decided to save himself from embarrassment and fled, while the larger one stood proud in the afterglow of victory. I turned away from the window with a smirk, and realized that the album was almost halfway through and I had no recollection of any of it. There’s nothing here that reaches out and grabs attention. It’s just not a very ambitious record. Perhaps the girls are happy simply having fun on stage rather than carving out something more distinctive musically.
They may serve as inspiration for some that anyone can play music. With enthusiasm alone, you too can make a band with your friends. But will Hinds remain happy with this, will they step up their game and take more time with their songwriting, or will they dissolve like so many before them?
Leave Me Alone out Mar 2.