Hands off Gretel are undoubtedly one of the most exciting bands emerging from the underground right now; it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world wakes up to their voracious sound. Now that they’re in the album charts, that could be sooner than they anticipated.
With Lauren Tate’s mesmeric filthy vocals, their caustic sticky-sweet energy, and ability to create dangerously sharp hooks are just some of the elements which feed into Hands off Gretel’s unique aural alchemy.
The South Yorkshire, UK-based powerhouse formed in 2015 when the enviably talented front-woman poured every ounce of her all too relatable despair into the project. But, there’s probably no better time to delve into their immersive angst than now after their much-anticipated latest release.
Their second studio album “I Want the World” which was released on March 29th, 2019 proved that their sound was just as infectiously abrasive as ever. After a string of successful singles and the accolades which poured in for their debut album “Burn the Beauty Queen”, the expectations were fairly high for the latest release, but Hands off Gretel delivered everything we expected plus plenty more biting volatility.
Even though everything about Hands off Gretel absolutely screams maturity, Lauren founded the band at the age of 16 – making her one of the most prodigal talents the alternative music industry has ever seen. If you think that sounds like high praise, just listen to the blistering depths of the lyrics.
Any fans of the original 90s Grunge movement are sure to be enamored by each and every one of the 12 tracks which feature on the album distributed by the band’s own label. While there are some slightly more melodic singles such as “It’s My Fault”, you’d still be hard-pressed to find a more energetically fuelled Grunge Punk record produced this side of 2000. But ultimately, the clever intricacies found within the instrumental arrangements only serve to amplify the hard-hitting sentiment found within the candidly raw lyricism.
Just as pioneers of Grunge such as Hole, Distillers, L7, Bikini Kill and Nirvana made no bones about making their lyricism as visceral as possible, Lauren has followed suit in her own distinctive way to tackle issues which are all too prevalent within society. For example, anyone who has ever been gaslit is going to get a sweet hit of absolution when they hit play on “Blame Myself”, the lyrics don’t just scratch at the surface. They claw deep and arrange your insides with the same deft ability they used when cooking up the tight salacious rhythms.
Sure, you can choose to just appreciate the boundless energy which each track possesses, but if you immerse yourself int the sentimentality of the tracks, you get a sense of just how powerful the record is as a whole. My appreciation of the album feels somewhat bitter-sweet, as I can’t help wondering how hard I Want the World would have hit me if I discovered it in the grips of teenage fragility. Having said that it still resonated in my slightly jaded soul – so, that pretty much stands as a testament to how compelling the tracks are.
There’s probably no sound as refreshing as an unapologetically fierce feminist icon in the making taking to the mic and venting and screaming in a way we all wish we could get away with in public; the track “Milk” is sure to give a few fans scream-envy.
In short, “I Want the World” is probably one of the most polished offerings of sugared Grunge Punk you could possibly tune into, and it has been an absolute pleasure watching Hands off Gretel conquer the industry with their hits which set them so far apart from other breaking artists.
Despite all of Hands of Gretel’s recent successes sadly, the album release didn’t quite go according to plan. As “I Want the World” was self-released, the band used the popular crowdfunding platform Pledge to allow their fans to pre-order copies of the album along with other unique merch designed and created by Lauren.
They absolutely smashed their campaign target reaching 100% in less than 24 hours and were set to secure their album in the charts. After their fans had paid for the new album and it was time to print the records and fulfill the orders Pledge informed the band that they don’t have the money to pay them. Meaning the £25,000 their fans had spent on the album and merch was gone – Pledge is broke and isn’t exactly being forthcoming about that fact!
For many bands, it would have been game over, but their fans made sure that the album release went ahead by re-ordering the album via the band’s official website. Watching them bounce back from the absolute disaster and seeing how humbled the band were throughout the processes proved that Hands off Gretel haven’t just got what it takes to make it, they totally deserve it. The album has already entered the top 40 iTunes Chart just beside Bring Me the Horizon’s “amo”.
Hands off Gretel’s latest album I Want the World is available for sale from their official website. Grab yourself a copy now. Or, you can check it out first by heading over to Spotify.
Keep up to date with the latest news and tour dates from Hands off Gretel by following them on Facebook. After sell-out album launch parties in their hometown and in London they will be taking the album on tour once more from April 5th.
Article written by Amelia VandergastBack to All News