Leave Me Alone seems like a book that you can judge by its cover. The fuzzy, simple arrangements that dominate the album are highlighted by slurring shouts, often merging into each other in a way that makes the album glide along, as if you were losing your place among its tracks; a sweaty, drunken swirl of an album.
This is far from a bad thing, though; Hinds are clear professionals at what they do, perfectly mixing clear and commanding melodies with the afflicted vocals to create something that’s both carefree and liberating, even maintaining an infectious energy in spite of a more muted vibe. The garage pop sound holds up well, with the beachy guitar riffs and percussive melodies of Chili Town and Warts coming off as particularly enticing. The multiple raw vocal tracks in San Diego dance around each other, only breaking for the buzzing guitar to claim its moment; their live appeal shines through across these songs, maintaining the usual hyping effect of a gig despite its pre-recorded nature.
The notably subdued And I Will Send Your Flowers Back counters the package perfectly, slowing it down near its closing tracks and consisting of nothing but a simple beat and riff, allowing the vocals to carry the song. This gives way to Leave Me Alone’s most defining factor; despite the constant risk of vocals falling below the fuzzy, sometimes loud surroundings, they always carry their weight, often becoming the pivotal part of a seemingly instrumentally focused album. The elements of the album resonate powerfully together, showing clear quality in their craft despite its haphazard nature.
As one of the earliest albums to see the light of day in 2016, Hinds have managed to start the year off on a surprisingly strong point. Leave Me Alone warrants repetitive listening, dragging you in with strong composition and keeping you there with its unique energy; hitting one note throughout its entirety, but simultaneously turning it into a compelling one. There’s every chance that this could be one of the albums you continuously return to throughout the year, and Hinds have more than earned the honour with Leave Me Alone.