When 2016’s Leave Me Alone came out, Hinds were the new super-cool indie band. We found its ramshackle garage charms, well, charming, but they had one sound and that charm faded as the album played through. It would have been a good six-track EP.
Wikipedia reports that it only debuted at 47 on the UK albums chart “and charted on the Oricon weekly albums chart in Japan,” which means we got it about right.
This new album is more of the same but better. We doubt they’ll be filling stadia any time soon, but it’s definitely Academy level, and they’ll probably land some arena gigs supporting dad bands that want to look cool.
The sound is still ramshackle, Libertines/Strokes style guitar and the two singers bouncing off each other. It’s more polished than the debut while keeping its charms. The person it reminds us most of is Jonathan “Road Runner” Richman, whose proto-punk was influenced by the Velvet Underground. He could turn out decent tunes and write a melody, but his voice was nasally flaky and his band, the Modern Lovers, were tight but loose. (He was so cool David Bowie covered his Pablo Picasso). Hinds are heavier (relatively) than Richman but songs like Linda would not be out of place on a Modern Lovers album.
There are some great indie songs: New For You opens with twinkling guitar and wandering bass line, Echoing My Name reverses that with an appealing bass opening and then guitar. In both, as with Richman’s drums/guitar being fractionally out of step in places, the band make a plus from a lack of technical ability.
They mostly do gentle but songs like Tester (which opens with vocals echoey and distant, like they were recorded in a coal cellar) is slightly faster.
NME’s seminal C86 brand of indie was cited in several reviews we read, and that’s about right: Hinds would fit in well somewhere between The Wedding Present, The Soup Dragons and We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It. Anyone who like bands from Mr Richman through to The Vaccines should give this a listen.