Looking back now, the early 90s Grunge period seems something of an anomaly. Who would have thought that a cluster of hard-edged, anti-commercialists like Nirvana, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. would actually make it, let alone make it big?
But make it big they did, and as a reward, the sludge-rock bands that they opened the door for first overtook them, and then consigned them to history.
It’s a shame that the influence of Dinosaur Jr. et al is not felt more widely, but it’s not, and I think it’s entirely unfair (and, QED, entirely reasonable) to blame Nickleback for this.
Hunger Anthem have ignored the alluring drab meat ‘n’ veg rock path that Chad Krueger has plodded, and instead greedily feasted on the crunchy remains of Grunge’s fuzzier corners.
Desire is aptly named: ravenous, lusty and direct. Buzzing noise is their tool and simple chainsaw-pop is their goal. It’s slack in execution and taut in intent: guitars chop not with aggression, but impatience.
The band clamber through the bluster and slice to the heart of the song, emerging bloody, triumphant and richer. Quick, sudden, painless – stripped down and lean, Hunger Anthem are a short, sharp reminder of when rock was allowed to be solely about the song, the buzz, the feel.