The three tracks on this EP – ‘She Thinks She’s Punk Rock N Roll’, ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Bigger Than Me’ – are all live favourites that fans have repeatedly asked the band to release. These songs are angry by name, angry by nature.
‘She Thinks She’s Punk Rock N Roll’ is a riot of angry guitar and vocals. Lauren spits out words at breakneck speed while noisy noisy guitars and thrashing drums thrill. Yet, let’s not get too fixated on the riotous thing because it’s not mindless thrash, there’s a sense of craft in the way it’s together. The shifts in riff, the different ways Lauren sings – Lauren’s vocals are an absolute joy.
‘Don’t Touch’ gets sort of metal in places, but it has these almost poppy vocals. It rocks, it rocks fucking hard. It makes you want to mosh, people. It kinda sums up what hands Off Gretel do. And frankly, the lyrics are disturbing.
And now to something different, well at least to begin with, ‘Don’t Touch’ starts with this strange off-kilter guitar and voice section before it explodes into something bigger. Yes it’s grungey but it’s also strangely gothy in places, and strangely psychedelic. My music reviewer head – that makes weird and strange, very strange I admit, leaps at times – said ‘well that’s bit DENSE’. What I mean by that is that it swirls and whirls, and builds into a maelstrom of noise.
I’ve had a special fondness for Hands Off Gretel since LSF first came across them. They were the first band we interviewed (at Long Division back in 2015). They’ve come a long way in that five years – band members have changed, the songs have changed, what they play has changed. So I’ve been keeping up on their releases. And although we haven’t reviewed their releases for a while (too long to be honest) hearing these songs makes me want to do that again.
For me these three songs encapsulate what Hands Off Gretel are live, and live they are incredible. If Hands Off Gretel are new to you, (where have you been), then this EP is a must to introduce you to the thrill, the excitement, the frankly excellent playing, the fucking fantastic songs, that is Hands Off Gretel. Go listen now, I mean right now, don’t delay.