Is it possible for a band to be prescribed by the NHS? Spain’s sunniest rock band Hinds are a total antidote the horrific situation the world is going through right now, with their sunny hooks and scrappy little tunes enough to compensate for whatever dire nonsense may be affecting your day. The Prettiest Curse is just about as uplifting a record as you’re likely to hear any time soon.
Produced by the band (Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrote, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen) and Jennifer Decilveo, this is a rougher, tougher (and more guitar-led) album than their previous releases, and this extra muscularity helps the songs push into your happy lobes. This is an unashamedly poppy rock record – and songs like Good Bad Times and Burn are amongst the finest they’ve released. Where the band previously dealt in a student-friendly, teenage-focused brand of scruffy garage rock, here they have honed their craft, polishing their hooks until they’re gleaming.
The disco-fied Good Bad Times, which includes some lyrics sung in Spanish, is tough but not aggressive – showcasing the maturity of this new record straight from the off. It sounds like Tame Impala, and it sounds like Haim – both perfect, complementary flavours for this new sound. The band’s newfound maturity is shown not only in the stylistic choices, but in the stylistic diversity. Riding Solo borrows from The Clash, with its downbeat but insistent, dubbed-out rhythmic intensity evoking the 1982 classic Straight To Hell.
The Play is most similar to their previous sound, it just carries a little extra lustre, a little more gloss than before. Just Like Kids (Miau) sounds as scruffy and snotty as prime-era Blur. Come Back and Love Me switches the brattiness out for a sense of homeliness, and the delicate perfume of Latin guitar wafts around you like a sea breeze on an all-inclusive holiday (miss you, TUI). Elsewhere Take Me Back and Boy both offer streamlined, buffed-to-a-fine-polish indie rock. All of the songs are great, all of the hooks sink deep.
With all the horror and terror of living in 2020 showing no signs of abating, we must turn to art for relief, to offer ourselves a steady stream of cathartic pleasures. This new Hinds album is just the thing you might be looking for, and it might offer you 30 of the most engaging minutes you’ve had in the past god knows how long.