The 10 best grunge anthems, as chosen by Hands Off Gretel

Like many bands, UK alt-rockers Hands Off Gretel began 2019 with a cloud of uncertainty looming over their heads. Having funded their upcoming album, the grunge-tinged (and two time Tracks Of The Week-winning) I Want The World via a Pledge campaign, news that the company were struggling to fulfil payments to bands with active campaigns threw their album release into turmoil.

But, in true Gretel fashion, the band came back fighting – with a self-funded push that saw them wrap the album in the nick of time for its March 29 release date. 

To celebrate the album's release, we recruited vocalist and grunge fanatic Lauren Tate to handpick a playlist of undeniable grunge anthems to usher in the release of what might just become a modern grunge classic. 

10. Alice In Chains – Rain When I Die (Dirt, 1992)

Sean my guitarist introduced me to Alice In Chains. I think Layne Staley was by far the best singer in the 90s. His vocal tone always makes my hairs stand on end. I was so inspired by the harmonies and vocal layers in Dirt, for sure one of my favourite albums ever.

9. Babes In Toyland – Bruise Violet (Fontanelle, 1992)

Nobody in the 90s sang like Kat. She was the coolest, most crazy singer I’d ever heard. My dad was shouting up at my room telling me turn it off: “It sounds like someone is in bloody labour,” he’d say… Which obviously made it even cooler.

8. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl (Pussy Whipped, 1993)

Rebel Girl was my anthem for a long time. I think every rock chic has their Bikini Kill era where they rock out with the hairbrush, pigtails in their hair, screaming ‘til their throat hurts. They taught me so much about feminism and my own self-esteem.

7. Marilyn Manson – Lunchbox (Portrait Of An American Family, 1994)

Marilyn Manson is my hero. Growing up listening to this made me so happy to not be one of the cool kids. He inspired my look a lot also as I’d experiment with fashion with my music. The aesthetic Manson had was genius.

6. L7 – Shitlist (Bricks Are Heavy, 1992)

I first heard L7 on the film Natural Born Killers. My hairs stood on end; I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of them. I was hooked! The dirty riffs and the female rage were just so addictive and inspiring to me.


5. No Doubt – Just A Girl (Tragic Kingdom, 1995)

I remember thinking Gwen was the coolest woman alive. Her stage persona and style were everything. I’d rock out to Just A Girl in my room, looking at myself in the mirror, feeling like I was in my own music video.


4. The Gits – Precious Blood (Enter: The Conquering Chicken, 1994)

I found The Gits on YouTube. I remember how excited I was listening to their music for the first time only to find out the singer Mia Zapata was killed years back. Always makes me so sad listening to her voice, we lost a star.

3. Nirvana – Scentless Apprentice (In Utero, 1993)

This is my jam! Finding Nirvana during secondary school made me so hungry to be in a band. Kurt inspired me to pick up the guitar and front a band for sure.


2. Hole – Doll Parts (Live Through This, 1994)

This was the soundtrack to my teen years, I was very late to the Hole bandwagon. I wanted to find a female Kurt Cobain and when I found her I’ll be honest, I didn’t listen to Nirvana for a while after that. I was hooked on Courtney!

1. Mudhoney – Here Comes Sickness (Mudhoney, 1989)

I heard this album when I was 16. Sean my guitarist gave it me to listen to while I painted in the garden, he was so happy I liked it. The fuzz tone was everything; I wanted to steal that sound so bad.

Hands Off Gretel's new album I Want The World will be released on March 29 via Puke Pop Records. Catch the band on tour at one of the dates below:

Mar 28: Nambucca, London, UK
Mar 29: Old School House Venue, Barnsley, UK
Apr 05: The Black Price, Northampton, UK
Apr 06: Hope & Ruin, Brighton, UK
Apr 20: Café Totem, Sheffield, UK
Apr 26: Broadcast, Glasgow, UK
Apr 27: Edinburgh, UK
May 25: Call of the Wild Festival, Lincoln, UK
Jun 02: Camden Rocks Festival, London, UK
Jun 06: Key Club, Leeds, UK
Jun 07: Retro Bar, Manchester, UK
Jun 08: Arts Club Loft, Liverpool, UK
Jun 09: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK
Jun 20: Bodega, Nottingham, UK
Jun 21: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
Jun 22: The 1865, Southampton, UK
Jun 23: Suburbs The Holdroyd, Guildford, UK
Jul 04: Louisiana, Bristol, UK
Jul 05: Shackwell Arms, London, UK
Jul 06: The Prince Albert, Brighton, UK
Jul 10: Fulford Arms, York, UK
Jul 11: Think Tank, Newcastle, UK
Jul 12: Broadcast, Glasgow, UK
Jul 13: Bannermans, Edinburgh, UK
Jul 20: Black Thorn Music Festival, Stockport, UK
Jul 21: Amplified Festival, Gloucestershire, UK
Aug 04: August Rebellion Festival, Blackpool, UK
Aug 31: Lindisfarne Festival, Northumberland, UK

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.