Spanish quartet indie lo-fi rock band Hinds are back with their latest offering of crunchy riffs, punchy beats and hot melodies. Coming two years after their sophomore album ‘I Don’t Run’ which saw the band capitalise on their lo-fi sound and atheistic. They’ve now returned with an album that still has the same Hinds we know and love, except this time they’ve expanded their sound further and allowed their palette to become more colourful.
Throughout ‘The Prettiest Curse’ there’s many tender moments and many moments of anger, often presented in the same fashion, leaving it to the listener to unravel the two. “Hey, you came at the wrong, wrong time, With all the problems that I already had, I looked at you, Now I’m trapped in your eyes” they sing over a flamenco style guitar riff on ‘Come Back And Love Me <3’; expressing their love for someone who they shouldn’t. The emotions that encapsulate most of the songs aren’t hidden through vague sentiments, instead it’s at the forefront of every song; taking centre stage. The lyrics on ‘The Play’ may not give away why the identity crisis written about is taking place but are sure to be direct about the feelings towards it. “I don’t wan’t your compassion, I was built for action, Fuck tomorrow if today never ends”.
Hinds have become adept at the big anthemic chorus and show it off throughout this album. Opener ‘Good Bad Times’ sets this theme in motion and it carries through throughout the entirety of the album. “You’re turning good times into bad times, Now that you’re no longer, Sleeping with me” they sing over an array of bright synthesisers and punchy drum beats. And on the track ‘Boy’ the verses culminate in a big explosion of passion and energy in the chorus. “All I want is my boy” they repeat over and over until the beat drops and the high octane chorus ensues. It’s not just the vocal delivery that makes these choruses so powerful but the big riffs that lie underneath them, each one as simple and yet propelling as the last. This formula has certainly become tried and true for the band, with not a huge amount of variation from it. But if it works, why try fix it?
The usual closed in lo-fi production that Hinds have become known for is still present in places, but now they’ve given their sound more breathing room and allowed it to expand out into uncharted territory. Closer ‘This Moment Forever’ shows off this revision of their sonic boundaries through the atmospheric synthesisers, reverb heavy guitars and the delayed vocal harmonies that slowly layer intricately on top of each other. Embracing this change has allowed Hinds’ sound to become even more expressive, making sure every note and phrase is heard. But where the lo-fi aesthetic remains it acts as a reminder of what has brought the band to this point. The blown out vocals and instruments can be heard in various clusters, alongside their crunchy guitar counterparts. There is the odd moment where this sound does become overwhelming and takes overpowers the sound. ‘Riding Solo’ builds through layers of harmonies, guitar riffs and wailing synth lines to eventually explode into a harsh wall of sound becoming hard to distinguish anything from everything as it all smushes together.
Hinds have kept the ball rolling on their delivery of passionate and crunchy albums, building on their signature style with new avenues of of sonic exploration. They can play your emotions through honest lyrics and festival ready riffs, leaving you dancing and crying at the same time. Crancing.