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The Angry EP - Puke Pop Records
Hands Off Gretel are a band moving at warp speed at the moment and building up some heavy momentum. Last year’s I Want The World full-length proved to be an instant hit (and topped this site’s writers’ poll for the year). Off the same launchpad comes The Angry EP, which comprises three heavy servings of the kind of full-on, ferocious, angsty rock that has become Lauren Tate and her band’s trademark output.
It’s an EP that couldn’t be called anything else. The band are mining a rich songwriting vein and, being beholden to no record company, have the artistic freedom to create music without compromise. If Lauren‘s lyrical approach makes you uncomfortable, it’s for good reason. She tackles inequality, sexism and stereotyping head-on. It’s the only way she knows. That uncompromising approach is also reflected in the sound of these three tracks, recorded with Jim Pinder at Tree House Studios in Chesterfield. It’s a fiery brew, more representative of the live experience and deliberately not as polished as the album. She Thinks She’s Punk Rock N Roll opens with a howl of feedback before launching into a pummeling, anguished diatribe about, I suspect, criticism of Lauren‘s status and position in the business. Don’t Touch (also the banner for the current tour) is a grinding, growling bass-driven monster with a message that swoops and howls. Slow burner Bigger Than Me opens with an unnerving clean guitar motif with a bend in it that gives an off-kilter exotic flavour before crashing into a crunching, coiling monster riff that ebbs and flows with massive energy.
If you haven’t caught Hands Off Gretel on the road recently, The Angry EP is probably the next best thing and captures the dynamic and energy of the live band. The EP is also a fantastic further lesson in the art of DIY. These guys bend the knee to no-one. Be angry, but don’t be afraid. Hands Off Gretel have got this.
The Angry EP is out on the band’s Puke Pop Records label on March 9th. Hands Off Gretel‘s ‘Don’t Touch‘ tour is rolling around the UK until May.