Pan Caliente: Los Punsetes

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I first became aware of Los Punsetes in 2010 when I was doing some research into the music scene in Spain. I’d come across a ton of bands attempting to continue the 80’s style electro-pop, popularized by bands like Alaska and Hombres G of the Movida Madrileña (the Madrilenian Scene).

While I understand it’s cultural significance and importance for the transition of the country, I’ve never been a big fan of the bands of this scene.

I was looking for something grittier. I wanted rock on the verge of punk or Indie rock that was experimental. Not necessarily El Guincho abstract, but definitely something more musically dense than rehashed glam beats.

…And then I found a very vibrant scene, with standouts like Juanita y los Feos, Juventud Juché, and Los Punsetes, that seemed to be both inspired by a subtle tinge of Spanish Pop and traditional punk.

It was as if these bands had grown up listening to La Polla Records and Aerolíneas Federales and had found a sound to fill the void in between. I really liked it!

Los Punsetes, in particular, are a band that lures you in with a mixture of punk lyrics and shoegaze-inspired guitars and drums.

It’s fast, but not tiresome. Their songs are about telling your friends to F off, cops ruining party weekends, and organ trafficking churches. So basically they fit right in with the new Musica Indie of Spain, which for some reason exhibits dark melodic and semi morbid undertones as a motif.

Their live show is sort of confusing, but very measured. The band churns out 2-3 minute songs in rapid succession all while lead singer Adriana stands there not moving a muscle. Well obviously she moves her mouth to sing but, despite that, it’s a pretty deliberate choice to be as stoic as possible to go along with the monotone-esque vocals.

Despite being a perplexing shtick that she recreates at every performance, its kind of endearing because she has an elaborate gown on and other bandmates seem to be oblivious that she’s just standing there stiff.

In the beginning I thought that this whole part of the act was meant to go along with the dorky sounding band name.

But after some digging I found out the band named themselves after a renowned Spanish Economist, Eduardo Punset… which adds yet another, “what the…” element to Los Punsetes.

In fact, their website has no info about the band other than three statements. “We are five. We live in Madrid. And we love Punset.”

So with all that said, hopefully you can appreciate this layered and interesting band and enjoy their catchy and thought provoking music…. maybe we should all be mad that the cops ruin party weekends.