Paul Wood reveals why you should be listening to one of the UK’s most exciting bands – Hands Off Gretel!
Greetings audio-friends. I hope you enjoyed my last recommendation on Wood Recommend and are here for another, because do I have a screamer here for you!
This is my most recent discovery in the audio world, and I’ll give credit where credit’s due, Spotify really came through with this one, as I fell in love with this band’s sound instantly. As I have stated previously, a lot of recommendations by these services are very hit and miss if like me, you have a rather broad, but very exacting music taste.
My recommendation for you today is not just a single or an album, but the entire catalogue of a UK Punk-rock band, comparable only with the likes of The Distillers and No Doubt (before Gwen Stefani went B.A.N.A.N.A.S). Indeed, they wouldn’t be misplaced being signed by Hellcat Records (if you’re reading this Mr Armstrong!)
Hands Off Gretel are a tragically underexposed group, who deserve their name up there with the big hitters of the genre. As a jump off point, their 2019 album I Want The World tells you everything you need to know about their style from the very get go with the opening track Kiss Me Girl. With fast paced punk tracks like the titular I Want The World, to the more melodic and powerful It’s My Fault, to the ridiculously catchy rhythmic bounce of My Friend Said, it’s hard not to fall in love with this band through this album alone. I implore you to listen to their 2020 release The Angry EP and then go back and listen to their early album Burn The Beauty Queen.
Their frontwoman, Lauren Tate, can flip between sweet-as-honey clean vocals to a gritty guttural scream, while unabashedly singing about the highs, and lows, of being a woman. Along with bassist Becky Baldwin’s no-nonsense driving bass tone, they’re the embodiment of a severely under-represented generation of strong young women in punk. Of course, that’s not to detract from drummer Sam Hobbins and guitarist Sean Bon (Tate has stated before that because half the band is female, the other half get largely ignored and overlooked)! It’s hard to ignore the beautifully crunchy guitar tone that opens their albums, combined with the flair of the perfectly placed and paced drum fills.
I tell you now, if a show was booked with The Distillers, The Interrupters and Hands Off Gretel, I would be first in the queue for those tickets.
My personal favourite track: My Friend Said, it’s just too catchy.
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