Hands Off Gretel - I Want The World - Jenny Tingle

Hands Off Gretel want the world, and the grunge-pop quartet might be well on their way towards that.

The band’s passion and work ethic cements their place as one of the most hard-working groups in the UK. Playing bigger shows to larger audiences every time they tour, Hands Off Gretel have great things ahead of them. To their credit, despite long tour days, the band can frequently be found in the front row during support sets. In an economic climate where musicians and self-employed individuals have to fight tooth and nail to just stay afloat, it’s great to see this unsigned band thriving, while taking care of the fanbase which has supported them all the way. I Want The World kicks off with Kiss Me Girl, the party anthem of the album. It’s an upbeat, hard-rocker with a sexually-charged sense of fun.

Sam Hobbins’ machine-gun snare hits connect the verse to the chorus that’s been stuck in my head all day. Guitarist Sean Bon uses his trademark Chorus effect pedals in It’s My Fault to cover the slower rock ballad with deep gloss and shimmer.

Milk really showcases Lauren Tate’s superb vocal range and control, with the subject matter pertaining to the her strong stance against animal cruelty and the meat & dairy industry.

Titular track, I Want The World hits hard immediately. Manic doses of energy and overdrive are interspersed by half-time feel sections and sugary guitar drenched in chorus effect.

Hands Off Gretel’s dexterous bassist Becky Baldwin, and drummer Sam Hobbins are the engine behind everything. Lauren and Sean strategically deploy gritty vocal howls and cutting distortion to take quiet moments to sudden explosive stereo.

I Want The World encapsulates the best of Hands Off Gretel’s sound. It’s a fluorescent melt of pop, grunge, rock and punk. Lauren Tate is a gifted vocalist, fronting a talented band which includes more than one multi-instrumentalist. I Want The World is yet another leap upwards for Hands Off Gretel, with equal parts polished studio sound and visceral live energy. Like their stage presence, the album commands attention from the outset. Offstage however, Hands Off Gretel are a very approachable band made up of people who work hard and play harder every day of the year. I wish them every success