<strong>VIVA HINDS:</strong> The Madrid-based band has caught the attention of the world
with its album <em>Leave Me Alone</em>, already considered one of the top indie-rock
albums of the year.

UNEXPECTED ROCKERS: It’s been a whirlwind year for Hinds, the Spanish four-piece who have quickly risen to worldwide acclaim with their slackadaisical and cheerfully unbridled rock ’n’ roll. The band will play an all-ages show at Velvet Jones on Monday, October 17, with Hayley and the Crushers and Cows Cabbage, landing in town on the wave of much-deserved recognition for their fantastically energetic and inspiringly empowering tunes, fresh from this year’s debut album, Leave Me Alone.

It’s their “freshness,” said bassist Ade Martín, which the world has latched onto, although the four members certainly didn’t expect to be such an “it” band when they worked these songs out in their garage. To them, they were musicians like others, but as has become clear to them and the world at large, there’s something intangible at play — a certain cool, a Madrilenian je ne sais quoi. “We thought they were songs that exist in the world like others, but the reactions are completely the opposite: ‘This is new; there is nothing else like Hinds,’” Martín marveled.

The first Spanish band to play one of Glastonbury’s main festivals, they’ve shown themselves to be exceptional in other ways, to the envy of their compatriots. “What’s happened to us as a band has never happened to any band in Spain before. There is a Spanish feeling that is really deep and very Spanish, which is envy, and some people just couldn’t stand it — they didn’t understand how everything happens so fast for us,” Martín said. Many suspected the band had to have earned their place through nepotism. “People were trying to find reasons for it with the craziest stories, like that our dads were working for Coca-Cola, and we became more a thing to talk about than listen to. Everyone had an opinion of us, and they weren’t even listening to our music.”

But give it a listen, and the evidence speaks for itself: The band rocks. Hinds commonly excites crowds to the point of stage-rushing, and fans and journalists alike have admitted a desire to join the band altogether. The music is inviting and invigorating, the kind of party you want to crash — see songs such as “Chili Town” and “Garden.”

Sexism, sadly, remains an inescapable problem for the talented bunch, with doubters questioning their abilities, particularly in Spain. But the more they’ve toured, the more the attitudinal tides seem to be shifting in their favor. While initially annoyed that the “girl band” label followed them around — Aren’t they just a band? Why not just focus on the music? — Hinds has seen the power in their femininity. “Once you go out and see how hard it is and how everything has to change so much — we changed completely,” Martín said. “We want women to want to play and to think, ‘Oh, there’s a possibility for me’ — I don’t have to be on the other side or be a journalist. I can actually have a band.

“Another crazy thing: Our lyrics — they are made by women and written by women and talk about women stuff, and now you see big guys in the audience singing our songs. Girls are so used to singing boy lyrics, so to see a guy singing a girly song — that’s our way of changing things,” she added.

See the band and hear why they’re turning heads and changing minds, one rocking gig at a time.

For more empowering rock, raise a glass to Slanted Land, Bella Heart & Soul Band, Thunder Rose, and Sonic Chaos, who will accompany your pours at this weekend’s S.B. Beer Festival on Saturday, October 15, at noon in Elings Park. Slanted Land, the riot grrrl psychedelic blues band, reminds us locally of the power of a woman with a guitar as Hinds has done globally. Check them and the other talented acts out as you enjoy hoppy drinks from some of the nation’s finest breweries.


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