HANDS OFF GRETEL - I Want The World!

Hands Off Gretel - I Want The World!

12 songs
41:36 minutes
***** ***
Puke Pop

Bandpage

Hands Off Gretel are two men and two women from England. Despite the musicians looking hardly older than 20 years, they play a kind of music that was really hip in the underground before they were even born. Since their foundation in 2015, they have released three albums on their own label and played already over 100 live shows. I Want The World is their current album and sounds as if it had been conceived a quarter century ago.

Centre of attention is doubtlessly vocalist Lauren Tate, and not only because of her flamboyant hairstyle and wardrobe. Her charismatic voice stands out and evokes memories of riot rock bands like Sleater Kinney and Babes In Toyland. Those who grew up with that kind of music in the Nineties will immediately get their kicks out of Hands Off Gretel. Many of their songs are really noisy and show that the musicians seem to have thoroughly studied the grunge movement. Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love had a daughter, and she might have been named Hands Off Gretel, because Nirvana as well as Hole have left traces in their music. And even though Hands Off Gretel are often quite abrasive (just check out Blame Myself), they also have a more emotional pop side. This is where I am reminded of another icon from the Nineties, namely Gwen Stefani. This is especially true Itís My Fault, a more commercial track that has been deliberately chosen as the first single. Freaks Like Us, maybe an allusion to themselves, is a semi-ballad that never drifts into kitsch and adds necessary variety. At twelve songs clocking in at a little over forty minutes, the band has found the ideal length for that kind of album.

This has been a truly enjoyable journey backwards in time. The mix of grunge and noise rock is excellent. Although I prefer the faster tracks, I have to concede that I Want The World is still an album without weaknesses. I enjoyed this kind of music in the Nineties, and I am happy to hear that there is a new generation continuing what the old one started.

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