Hinds - I Don't Run

by Mark Moody Rating:9 Release Date:2018-04-06
Hinds - I Don't Run
Hinds - I Don't Run

Hidden in the back of Mercado San Miguel in central Madrid is an unassuming drink stand.  They serve one thing there - gin and tonics.  Albeit they have an assortment of gins, flavored tonics, and garnishments that lead to an endless array of combinations.  For better or worse (maybe worse in that setting!), my go to cocktail happens to be the seemingly simple G&T.  So over the course of a few evenings in Madrid I managed to wander back to that corner a few times, have a pour or two and walk around the market trying different tapas and taking in the sights and smells.  This was near the end of 2015 and I certainly hadn’t heard of the fledgling Madrid-based band Hinds, which may have had a few less members and a different name back then.  Even though I haven’t been able to get back to Madrid, Hinds has flourished - picking up some new members, touring the world and now on the brink of releasing their second full length album.      

Following Hinds' strong 2016 debut, Leave Me Alone, the band had a choice to play it safe on their sophomore album or come out swinging.  Their debut was a primarily hushed but hook filled DIY affair - not unlike the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album where the vocals were originally mixed down but the strength of the melodies carried the day.  Not surprising, given their youthful abandon and early success, Hinds embrace their quirks and boldly step into the ring on I Don’t Run.  Co-produced by early Strokes producer Gordon Raphael, opening track ‘The Club’, could very well have come off that band’s debut.  Ade Martin’s heavy bass notes and Amber Grimbergen’s rock steady pounding give way to a fuzzed out guitar line with co-lead singer/guitarist Ana Perrote taking the first line of the song -  “lately, I’ve been noticing a change in your walking”.  With the vocals mixed up and more confident compared to the debut, when Carlotta Cosials takes the next line the contrast in their voices jumps out and the balance between the two becomes the band’s innate strength.  Like you wouldn’t want gin without tonic, Cosials varying levels of astringency mix so well with Perrote’s sweeter tone that blended it becomes the perfect intoxicating concoction.  Cosials and Perrote’s traded lines and licks are irresistible and when they sing in tandem with Martin chiming in the song becomes three minutes of garage-pop perfection.

Pushed to sing with more power in many spots, Cosials vocals shade from a come hither Eartha Kitt purr to a disdainful hiss within the same song.  The uniqueness of her voice may be an acquired taste for some (and possibly not for everyone), but it adds a depth of flavor to the band’s already ragged but righteous sound.  The band tackles their subjects full on - primarily telling off guys, some girls and generally being hard on themselves.  All the while with Perrote and Cosials finishing each other’s sentences, as they do repeatedly to great effect on the shuffling ‘Soberland’.  The smoldering hesitation of ‘Linda’ is an early standout and the barely contained innuendo of a line like “the detonation of satisfaction when you ring my bell” speaks to their openness.  

The girl group harmonies of ‘New For You’ and unbridled joyful sound of the centerpiece ‘Tester’ obscure the unhappiness of the lyrics.  The latter song progressively rocks harder but the directness of the content could easily be lost - “why’d you have to lie to my face, should I’ve known you were also banging her?”.  These indignities are surely not deserved by our heroes, but provide impetus for some fiery moments as the album begins to close out with ‘Finally Floating’ being another full-on rocker.  ‘To the Morning Light’ in spite of having some of the most pronounced guitar theatrics also has some of the most heartbreaking lines including “you saw my joy as a crime”.  

Bless Hinds for putting it all out there on the aptly titled I Don’t Run.  Assured in their imperfections wherein lie their strengths; whether that be in relationship misses, self-doubt, or not following by the book musicality.  Hinds gambled on this album without regard for consequences and came up aces.  I hope that gin and tonic stand is still there at Mercado San Miguel if you ever get that way (the grilled octopus is crazy good as well), but more so take faith that Perrote, Cosials and their able rhythm section are just getting started.  Viva España!  Viva G&Ts!  Viva Hinds! 

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