Haren Demo 2022 cassette
HAREN is a three-piece band from Murcia, Spain, and their demo tape is (also) released by Educacion Cíncia from Buenos Aires. A quick note on current tape labels such as Educacion Cíncia: they keep punk fresh. It is impossible to keep up with how many random bands there are with streamable records, yet for those whom a physical release is still important, tape labels have become more handy than ever. It gets better when they are focused on a local scene and function as a platform for the bands to show off. Tapes are cheap and small, ship easily, still look alright and allow a lot of mastering bullshit. What better format, right? I also dig the fanzine-esque promo that is written by the label of this release. But back to HAREN: They play street punk/Oi!, but uptempo and with enough dirt that it swings into the UK82 sound with a significant amount of melodies. Don’t expect blazing energy, it’s much more rudimentary and therefore predictable. But how many variations are there for power chords? While the songs do not offer anything extraordinary, HAREN does not slip into becoming background music. There is an elusive determination behind their playing that demands attention and feeds their simple melodies to my brain. It’s capital-letter punk music—if you played it for a mohawk owner, they would start to move. The guitars play dense-to-bouncy and mid-tempo, and the vocals add a bit of a hymn-like feel to each track. This is a decent tape, proving that punk is still accessible and showing how putting yourself into your music can improve your songs no matter how simple they are.