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October 26, 2015

Hinds’s show at Lincoln Hall was a punk, drunk slam dunk

Most bands that want to show support for their touring partners quietly clap at the back of the crowd. Those bands aren’t Hinds. Toward the end of Public Access T.V.’s (PATV) opening set, Carlotta Cosials (guitar/vocals) and Amber Grimbergen (drums) pushed their way toward the stage, beers in hands, and started shouting spurts of lyrics. After PATV finished, the two squeezed their way out of the now-sizeable crowd and made for backstage, presumably to get another beer in with co-frontwoman Ana Garcia Perrote and bass player Ade Martin before show time.

This first encounter with Hinds makes two things immediately clear: one, the first letter of their Myers-Briggs personality type is most definitely E, and two, these girls can drink. A lot.

I mention this not because either of those two characteristics is particularly unique in the World of Rock, but because they’re inextricably entwined with Hinds’s performance. Hinds is a garage-rock band from Madrid, and garage-rock (as the name implies) has always been associated with amateurism.

True to tradition, Hinds’s members aren’t particularly great musicians. But as it turned out, this wasn’t an issue—they get by with swingin’ melodies and enough personality to make Lady Gaga look like Gwyneth Paltrow.

Most of Hinds’s songs are about boys, sung coquettishly in heavily-accented English. Every once in a while they come out with a stunner of a line (Like this one from “Chili Town”: “I am flirting, with this guy/Just to pretend I’m fine”). For the most part, though, the songs are just fun ’n’ flirty sing-alongs, propelled forward with rickety drumming and filled in by “oooohs” and “whoaas.”

If Hinds had a fault, it’s that they don’t have enough songs yet. They’ve released one EP (The Very Best of Hinds So Far), and the rest of their set was filled out with numbers from their upcoming album (Leave Me Alone, due out in January) and a Dead Ghosts cover. That left plenty of time for Cosials to break a string and yell for “Jawn” from PATV to restring her guitar and lend her his, and for excellent between-song banter, mostly to do with alcohol. From Garcia Perrote: “Amber’s only drinking water because she’s drunk!” (And she was, swaying woozily from behind her drum kit.) Garcia again: “Guys, I did the last Chicago show without beer and I almost fainted!”

For the encore, Cosials invited everyone up onstage to sing Hinds’s cover of Thee Headcoats’ “Davey Crockett (Gabba Hey!)”. The “Gabba Hey!” sing-along parts were, of course, stolen from the Ramones’ “Pinhead.” And with that, the whole scene crystallized.

So I got on stage and yelled “GABBA GABBA HEEEEEY!” with Hinds and about 30 similarly excited people. This very much pissed off the venue and prompted a panicked Cosials to tell everyone to “run” as soon as the song had finished.

The takeaway? Viva Hinds, viva amateurism, and fuck virtuosity. Music is more than notes: It’s also Cosials’s three beers and a shot, Martin’s dancing, and Cosials’s flirting with “Jawn.” For my part, it’s also stage-invasion and desperately trying to avoid falling backward on the kick drum while singing nonsense words.

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