Friday, February 10, 2012

Hansel - Mission to Rock

Hansel “Mission to Rock” EP, 2008
(Pussycat Records)

It seems difficult to believe but the disappearance of glam metal on a grand scale is nearing twenty years.  However Australians Hansel seem intent on either bringing it back by playing a style they seem to love.  Other than the band’s dress sense there’s very little here to suggest this is a parody of that particular era of music.  The band looks too young to have witnessed hair metal first hand.  Looking at the photos of the band there is a seventies glam dress sense but I’d bet you’d have to be tough or simply insane to be male and wear make-up in a rugby league-loving industrial coastal city like Newcastle.  So to escape possible beatings there’s no obvious guyliner or other similar trappings here.

The opening track “Murder 101” starts with keyboards leading into a song with an anthemic quality that brings the radio-friendly rock of Skid Row and Bon Jovi to mind.   There’s a Van Halen element of fun injected into “Mission to Rock” and “Shot down for Love”.  Originality shouldn’t be expected from a throwback band but for those who grew up back when radio programmers favored this music the lyrics will seem highly cliched.    There is a big production sound which suits their style and makes blindly guessing their country of origin extremely diffcult.  There’s potential here as HANSEL are definitely musically proficient and do have strong song-writing ability but instead of looking back at their chosen genre predecessors they could do well to take a few uncalculated risks.


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