Review: Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

Hands Off Gretel

A few years ago I had the pleasure of conducting an email interview with multi-talented Lauren Tate, Hands off Gretel - Burn the Beauty Queenbefore Hands off Gretel were formed. I believe at the time it was the strangest question Miss Tate had ever been asked… let’s see what your answer would be. Do you think a chicken will be able to cross the road without ever having its motives questioned?

Hands off Gretel are a four-piece grunge/rock band who’ve been an entity since 2015 and already turning heads. Touring the UK and picking up a faithful fan base, along with comments from the likes of Linda Perry, Shirley Manson and Kate Nash, which has endeared the spotlight to this hardworking band.

Fan funded Burn the Beauty Queen opens with a raw chugging guitar riff, a throwback to those great days of 90s grunge, this is “Queen Universe”. Co-founder Lauren Tate applies her vocal range very early on with this tune. The angst drawl, the scream and melodic rock vocals that has ‘that’ groan at the end.

Kerrang radio have been smashing “One Eyed Girl” as has BBC Radio Sheffield.  The intense vocals are reminiscent of when Cobain added those little intricacies to his vocal range. The blend of co-founders Sean McAvinue guitar is why this track explodes. You can check the video out at the bottom.

A gentle beginning for “Bad Egg” made a little bit of wee come out, this dark melodic tune evokes memories of back in the day. The way the tender yet disturbing guitar and Tate’s vocals creep up on you. The raw sound is audacious for Hands off Gretel. “Teethin” blows the steam off and hands out a lovely few one liners, then “Little man” cools the heat down, “Always Right” is fast and ferocious as the vocal scream sound flows like an MC, like a boss.

“Oh Shit” and “World Against She” are two highpoints from Burn the Beauty Queen, the drum style is beautiful, it’s poetry in a physical form. The bass is tight throughout and blends like a high priced food processor. Lauren has the old school grunge drawl which coincides with the lyrical content, for me personally I love a bit of angst in my music.  “Eating Simon” acknowledges thinking illnesses that Doctors cannot always see, the track is put together well and helps as an acknowledgement to the younger generation to tell them, that they are not alone.

Kurt Cobain once wore a T-Shirt that said “Grunge is Dead”. It isn’t; it is just laying low in South Yorkshire. Guess what, Burn the Beauty Queen is out September 2016 and you can follow the journey of this band who are turning heads and making the musical glands salivate, so climb on board and catch this band on their upcoming tour of the UK.

Live Dates:

  • 3rd Sept – Corporation Sheffield
  • 15th Sept -The Black Heart Camden (contact for guest list entry)
  • 16th Sept –Album Launch (North)  – Barnsley Rock & Blues Club
  • 22nd Sept – Lady Luck Canterbury
  • 6th Oct – Adelphi Hull
  • 13th Oct –Trillians Newcastle
  • 27th Oct – Fulford Arms York
  • 28th Oct – Soundhouse Leicester
  • 11th Nov – Mulberry Tavern Sheffield
  • 12th Nov – Lincoln Imp Scunthorpe (support)

Photo Gallery from album launch party (pics by Katie Frost):

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