HANDS OFF GRETEL — Lauren Burns her Beauty Queen

HANDS OFF GRETEL is an Alternative Rock band from the UK — fronted by the bouncy Lauren Tate on vocals and the guitar, Sean McAvinue also on guitar and Sam Hobbins on drums.

We have been lucky enough to see this band play their live show [an exhilarating experience!] so we are ultra-thrilled to review their 13 track studio album titled Burn the Beauty Queen.

Hands Off Gretel - as if stuttering Courtney Love has been caught in a blender by her fishnet stockings having choked on a sausage...

Hands Off Gretel – as if stuttering Courtney Love has been caught in a blender by her fishnet stockings having choked on a sausage…

The new album starts with the pounding “Queen Universe.” This sounds as if a stuttering Courtney Love has been caught in a blender — strangled by her fishnet stockings — having choked on a sausage…

And if you think that’s harsh — we are only trying to categorize the sound [not recommended, you probably think] — and that’s precisely what we hear in this space-age gypsy punk mix with its obvious cabaret senisbilities Think Dresden Dolls for a more reasonable explanation.

The bass-heavy “One Eyed Girl” has already been released on video [see below]

On this one, Lauren’s butterfly mind flits-around with the frantic energy of grunge-drunk moth. Yes this is a mixture of angst and humour-heavy glam-punk… belted out with spasmatic jolts of sequinned electricity.

Little Man” shimmers and sighs. It has beams of fresh new drummery and retains latent passion long enough to intensify the longed-for orgasm. Meanwhile, the voice sways like a hooded vulture perched high up in the branches of an apple of death.

Oh Shit” is an exclamation. A yell laden shriek-fest. This angry and unrepentant cymbal-filled clash reminded us of Babes in Toyland. Fresh and sour “World Against She” has spectacular fizz and more female empowered spirit than a keening banshee.

  Hands Off Gretel  - spectacular fizz & more female empowered spirit than a keening banshee ...

Hands Off Gretel – spectacular fizz & more female empowered spirit than a keening banshee …

The album concludes with “Awfully Miserable” which is a hymn to disheveled grunge: It is full of corruptive social alienation, heavy apathy and welcomed-in boredom. So this one’s a little less battle-goddess more lament-filled mourner. The monody i.e. The solo voice is completely hypnotic and this whole thing builds-up into a vast soup of immoderate sound. In fact, this is probably the strongest track on this wonderful album.

If you thought that alternative rock could never again amaze you … think again!

 

Burn the Beauty Queen is released 16th September. Signed copies are available directly from the band’s site: VISIT www.handsoffgretel.co.uk

 

Words: Neil Mach 2016 ©

 

 

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