Words by James Robertson
Two years after storming onto the scene with an anthemic first album, Hinds return with a new album that’s more of the same.
If you follow them on social media or have ever caught them live, you’ll know that Hinds are all about having a good time. They’re happy enough just being in a band playing shows and this happy-go-lucky attitude transposes itself onto their albums. This ethos worked well for debut album “leave me alone”, announcing themselves to the world as a fresh-faced girl gang, Hinds were a breath of fresh air coupled with nostalgia and a reputation for exhilarating live performances. Second album I Don’t Run is a chance for Hinds to keep the momentum going and show a development of their signature 60s garage pop sound. Unfortunately it falls short of the mark.
Now, that isn’t to say that this is a bad album, it just doesn’t do anything new for the band. With promises that this was a step forward in sound and songwriting and with the band working with Gordon Raphael (producer of The Strokes first two albums), I was excited to see what they would produce. The answer is: a fun album that tackles topics such as love, doubt, and insecurity in a relatively engaging way, just in a similar manner as before. Working with Raphael has meant that The Strokes influence and sound of the first album Is This It is brought out in full force. Opener ‘The Club’ in particular rattles along like any of The Strokes best material which, I imagine, is the point when working with the guy who produced their finest work. The band leans into the same fuzzy Lo-fi vocals as before, with Carlotta Cosials’ and Ana Perrotes call and response singing taking center stage once again.
The first half of the album takes you on a tour of sights we’ve visited before. ‘Soberland’ tackles the issue of what to do once the relationship hangover kicks in while ‘New For You’s cheeky riff evokes the lo-fi indie pop the band is famous for. The guitar work and musicality on the album is more polished and slightly tighter than before, while still wearing it’s influences on its sleeve. The second half of the album picks up with ‘Finally Floating’, which proves to be a high point and showcases some of the strongest songwriting on the album about dreaming of the person you want to be with. Although it can be difficult to dig too deep into the lyrical themes because of the band’s simplistic songwriting, this actually plays to their strengths.
Hinds ethos of having as much fun as possible while playing beach infused garage rock is something of a juxtaposition to the current climate. Without being too doom and gloom, it’s nice to have something that just shows up for 40 minutes, is easy to listen to and then just as quickly vanishes but is always there to listen to again. Hinds will keep making fun, easily accessible albums that they can play live without a care in the world and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.