Hambre Libre Es El Que No Desea Nada EP

Now this is a bit of an odd one. Or maybe not that much, as it cannot be denied that there is currently a trend in punk that sees the music go back to very minimalistic and primitive forms like those that could be found in the ’80s, when punks could not play and were unintentionally crude musicians. This band can be thought of in this light. Still, they’re a bit weird, but in a good way. HAMBRE comes from Mollet del Vallès in Catalonia and they are, quite aptly, rather mysterious. There is no bass guitar on this single-sided EP made up of four short songs of, supposedly, taoist hardcore (!), with lyrics dealing with foundational concepts from the Tao Te Ching (“Libre es el que no desea nada” for instance, which means “Free is the one who desires nothing”). Not exactly topics you see everyday on the punktube, but it confers a sense of originality and paradox to the band’s concept (the Tao Te Ching can hardly be said to have been a massive influence on punk or glue-sniffing). Is it just a silly pose? Well, I don’t think so, as HAMBRE plays minimalistic, fast tupa-tupa punk rock music, maybe not unlike some old Mexican bands, with vocals typical of old-school Spanish punk. Think REVOLUCION X and HEREJIA with a clearer punk rock sound and an obsession with simplicity. The demented artwork reminiscent of Asian horror is as bizarre as the band’s creative stance, and emphasizes the contrast between the taoist notion of harmonious selflessness and the utter madness of our psyche. Or something. I’m not sure the EP is good, but at least it is bizarre enough to be fresh.