Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

HOG_RingMasterReview

Checking out the ear exciting single One Eyed Girl a few short weeks back, our closing line was “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”. That is the title of the debut album from UK grrl punksters Hands Off Gretel, and just a handful of days ago it was unveiled to quench hopes and anticipation for its potential riding on the back of its lead single. Burn the Beauty Queen is glorious, a feast of grunge fuelled punk ‘n’ roll snarling and barracking like a fusion of Die So Fluid, Spinnerette, and The Raincoats. It is an infestation of ears and psyche skilfully weaving recognisable flavours into its own distinctively imaginative exploits and more than fulfilling the promise offered by its first single.

Emerging from an early musical partnership between vocalist/guitarist Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue and following the demise of the former’s Lauren Tate Band, Hands Off Gretel quickly started to draw attention with Tate’s ‘frustration songs’ as creative fuel. Late 2015 saw Sam Hobbins invited to play bass and drums on the South Yorkshire band’s album, subsequently become the permanent Hands Off Gretel drummer to join Tate and McAvinue, newest member bassist Joe Scotcher completing the current line-up.

In a year already seeing Hands Off Gretel release the single My Size as well as One Eyed Girl and play Whitby Goth Weekend, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion, Kaya Festival, and Isle of Wight Festival, Burn the Beauty Queen is the pinnacle and needs barely two minutes of opener Queen Universe to confirm the fact. Teasing, almost taunting with a lone riff initially, bait swiftly accompanied by the potent tones of Tate, the song is soon a cauldron of imposing rhythms, cantankerous riffs, and spiky hooks with bitchy harmonies adding their great snarl. It is a stunning start quickly reminding of those earlier references yet just as powerfully showing its own character of sound and invention as it stomps over senses and into the passions.

There is no chance of such a powerful bordering on psychotic beginning being followed by an antic-climax either as One Eyed Girl follows to confirm its position of one of the best songs heard this year. Grumbling in ears from its opening bassline, the track is soon aggressively challenging and seducing as Tate’s catchy yet confrontational tones align to the nagging and addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs as rhythms swing with venom. Again there is no escaping a Brody Dalle essence to vocals and indeed the sound but the song bounces around on its own unique terms to feed an already keen appetite for what is on offer.

art_RingMasterReviewBad Egg is next, coaxing ears with a singular hook wearing an early Adam and The Ants scent before things open up with wiry melodies and predacious beats as McAvinue’s guitar spins a web of tangy melodic intrigue. Less ferocious and imposing than its predecessors, the track is dangerously bewitching, leaving a lingering imprint before Teethin’ strolls in like a gunslinger, one hiding its bite behind catchy endeavours but perpetually gnawing away with post and old school punk invention. Its exceptional persuasion is followed by that of Little Man, a haunting ballad-esque canter seemingly as much inspired by the darker explorations of Siouxsie and The Banshees as bands like Hole and 4 Non Blondes, and quite irresistible.

From its dark shadows, Hands Off Gretel go for the jugular with the punk infested and simply brilliant Always Right. It is a rousingly irritable assault, like Bikini Kill meets Au Pairs and also fiercely addictive as its virulent enterprise and piecing hooks take hold before Under The Bed bares its cranky attitude and nature with creative zeal.

Through the barbarous Oh Shit with its predatory bassline and scything riffs and the raging fire of World Against She, Hands Off Gretel prove that even their least unique offerings simply ring true with ears and emotions and set the band well apart from the field whilst tracks like Eating Simon with its Three Imaginary Boys like Cure hooks and enslaving rhythmic rumbling offer evidence that the quartet just might be one of the bands helping steer British rock to new glories ahead.

Then we have Plasters, a superb and slightly deranged piece of imagination which drawls discord, musically and emotionally, whilst casting another highly addictive web of beats and sonic hooks. The song brings seventies punk, eighties new wave, and nineties grunge into the raw and twenty first century invention of Hands Off Gretel for something quite striking.

The dark amble and warning of Push The Girl and the climactic theatre of Awfully Miserable bring Burn the Beauty Queen to a powerful close; the first sublime creative drama in the ear and its successor, from an engrossing low key unleashing, a tempest of scything beats and grumpy basslines littered with electric grooves and spiky hooks as crescendos rise and fall.

It is a great end to one of the year’s most impressive and seriously pleasurable releases of 2016. Hands Off Gretel bring a fresh excitement to music, Burn the Beauty Queen the biggest thrill.

Burn the Beauty Queen is out now and available @ http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/_p/prd15/4533789831/product/burn-the-beauty-queen-album

http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel/

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – One Eyed Girl

Hands off Gretel pic_RingMasterReview

With a sound that will just as eagerly spit in the face while enticing rock ‘n’ roll instincts, Hands Off Gretel recently unveiled a prime slice of their punk driven, nineties grunge clad rock in the shape of One Eyed Girl. The lead single from the band’s debut album Burn The Beauty Queen, the song bristles with attitude and prowls with creative imagination like the bad blooded, seductive niece of The Distillers and Die So Fluid.

Hands off Gretel art_RingMasterReviewEmerging from the musical partnership between singer/songwriter Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue, the South Yorkshire hailing Hands Off Gretel formed in the February of 2015; the current line-up with bassist Joe Scotcher and drummer Sam Hobbins making up the foursome stepping forward earlier this year. With the likes of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love inspiring the creative attitude of Tate, the band swiftly lured attention though firstly their first DIY video for Be Mine and a free downloadable EP. An invitation to play Camden Rocks Festival soon followed as too a slot at Devolution Magazines 10th year Anniversary event. As shows across the Capital alone increased the band’ reputation, Hands Off Gretel have drawn the praise and support of an international fan base including Kate Nash. Ahead of their first album, One Eyed Girl is already setting about stirring the ears and blood of a great many whilst sparking keen anticipation for the upcoming Burn The Beauty Queen.

The single immediately grumbles as the bass of Scotcher offers an earthy growl. It quickly leads into the waiting trap of Tate’s inviting yet confrontational tones and the addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs. With Hobbins’ beats intensively jabbing throughout, the song is soon swinging along spreading ill-tempered seduction. It is easy to pick out Tate’s influences but just as quickly she reveals her own character in voice and delivery whilst McAvinue continues to spin a web of inescapable bait and temptation.

One Eyed Girl stomps through ears as determined to tear up the place as it is to create unbridled fun and arouses the cry “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”.

One Eyed Girl is out now.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

6th August – Rebellion Festival Blackpool

7th August – Kaya Festival South Wales

13th August – Krazyhouse Liverpool

3rd Sept – Corporation Sheffield

16th Sept –Album Launch (North) – Barnsley Rock & Blues Club

17th Sept – Album Launch (South) – LONDON (venue tbc)

22nd Sept – Lady Luck Canterbury

30th Sept – Bad Apples Leeds

13th Oct – Trillians Newcastle

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel   https://twitter.com/handsoffgretel   http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk   https://www.instagram.com/handsoffgretel/

Pete RingMaster 04/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright