After a mailer interview in 2014 with Hana Piranha’s lead vocalist and classically trained violinist Hana Maria which I undertook upon seeing the Youtube video of her NIN “Closer” cover, it felt the UK have someone intriguing to get behind. The Catholic priest’s daughter is influenced by anything from Bach to Nine Inch Nails, maybe her own version of a Dusty Springfield classic? Hana joined forces with guitarist Jim Beck, and together they’ve built up a four-piece crew who are set to release their long-awaited album, Waiting to Burn on the 22nd March 2019 via Fourglove.
It’s been a while since any information about Hana Piranha has circulated and suddenly, this record landed on the Moshville Times’ doorstep (or inbox as it’s 2019). This was surely a sign to listen to their melding of rock guitars and operatic classical violins, a sound for a future Jim Steinman musical.
Waiting to Burn begins with a stringed intro “Silk and Poison”. The dusky voice of Hana is eerie with the deep plucking bass allowing a Juliette Lewis attitude to raise its head. A darker vibe in “Dark Secret” as Andrew Lane’s heavy slow thumping drums set a scene of trouble arriving. Towards the end, we get a Jim Beck riff of destruction. First release “Naked Flame” has a repetitive beat as Hana the anti-heroine tells the story of leaving a toxic relationship using destructive methods. An intriguing concept with additional violins adding a gothic touch.
“Vanitas”, “Murderess” and the “Wormtongue” capture the essence of sleaze. Daniel Tompkins’ slow bass on “Murderess” with Andrew Lane’s beat works well alongside Hana on vocals. “Wormtongue” has a sense of icons, with an L7 influence. Hana’s vocals work well in their own right on “Slave” with Beck’s dirty riffs mixed with filthy vocals adding a pinch of NIN in the lyrics.
Hana has her demons on show for the creation of art and final tune “Waiting to Burn” is a different dynamic compared to previous songs. The melancholic violin sound is rather Lana Del Rey, and darkly mesmerising.
If you’re a fan of Anna Calvi, Birdeatsbaby, Simonne and the Darkstars, Lana Del Rey, Garbage or Juliette Lewis, this album is going to fill that hole. Hana has an upcoming solo harp album and tour to sort out, so it’s going to be a busy year.