Album Review: Hinds – ‘I Don’t Run’
Hinds are back with their sophomore album, I Don’t Run, which dropped on April 6 and was co-produced by the band themselves. Their iconic garage pop-rock is back, clearly developed with more confidence, precision and purpose.
Emerging from the music scene in Madrid around 2011, Hinds are one of the few bands doing justice to the revival of old-school indie-rock. Their second album is filled with spacious sounding guitar riffs and solid bass grooves. The influences of The Vaccines and The Strokes on their music are clearly heard, and create an interesting and engaging sound.
The album functions as an antidote to the trend for pop to lean on the sterile, dispassionate form of electronic sound spat out by an algorithm. Hinds’ sound is made by skin on instrument, and you can feel it. By purposefully under-producing the record, using slightly out of tune guitars, and playing sporadically offbeat, it reminds listeners of old vinyls and garage jam sessions, without sounding dated.
The Spanish natives create a unique experience by singing in their second language, which brings out a certain simplicity in their lyrics. Their straightforward thoughts are enriched by more symbolic lines, such as, “Sometimes a short trip to hell can dry the ocean”, which drips of the sincerity of a poet’s diary.
The themes discussed on this album are similar to their first record, centred around relationships, and are delivered as honestly as in the past.
The key to Hinds’ use of vocals is that they use it as an instrument, fully integrated into their sound. With this album, they have tweaked this strength, using gang vocals, call and response, and different members singing entirely different lines. This has been crafted to a chaotic perfection, and is exemplified in ‘New For You’ and ‘Finally Floating‘.
Their unique way of approaching vocals cares less about the lyrics, and more about how the vocals feel, evoking layered emotions in their sound.
The strength of the album is found in the subtle changes in sound, song and instrumentation. In every track, there tends to be distinctly different instrumentation or use of vocals. This is found, for example, in the song ‘Tester’, which, after 90 seconds of building into a full song, abruptly cuts off, without any fade out or warning. The album keeps you on your toes in the best way possible, by carefully sounding like they don’t care, saluting the punk bands of old.
Hinds’ I Don’t Run is the album you listen to because your friend forced you to, but one that will leave you humming the songs long after the record has finished. It leaves you longing for that sweaty, joyful, Spanish garage over the studio any day.