Unlike Boston Calling, Hassle Fest is truly a representation of Boston music scene – think 50/50 ratio of local/national acts vs Boston Calling’s 1/50. That and the fact that it costs only $75 dollars to see get 3-day pass to the festival makes it a great alternative to more established festivals in town.
Black Beach (Boston) – if loud and snotty stomping rock-n-roll is your thing, then Black Beach is thee place to go! This trio’s latest single Self Portrait (from upcoming Shallow Creatures) delivers mounds of volume, fuzz and distortion with fat and sludgy Sabbath grooves served on the side:
Cave Bears (Boston) – Cave Bears is actually just one Cave Bear (I don’t think that’s his real name either, but I’ll presume that it is) out of Mass who lives in a castle and cast spells all day. His life is over, but he can never die and in the meantime he writes music, puts it out through labels like Feeding Tube Records and runs his own One Kind Favor label as well as Deep Thoughts JP record store (for a peek behind the curtain, see this Village Voice article).
Confused yet? You should be – and if you like being confused (we all do sometimes), Cave Bears recordings deliver even more of it. If Schimpfluch-Gruppe, Runzelistrn and Gurgelstock, ID M Theft Able, Dylan Nyoukis and the likes tickle your funny bone, you’ll find even more ways to be tickled via CBs singles such as Night of the Bloody Horses:
Downtown Boys (RI)- Whenever a band describes themselves as “bilingual political dance sax punk party” there are bound to be plenty of raised eyebrows. Well, judging by their single Haz Algo, Providence, RI Downtown Boys (who actually have a girl in the line-up) are all of those things and more! They may not sound anything like traditional punk rock, but the whole ruckus brought on by the band certainly is about as punk as it gets! That squealing saxophone also brings sweet memories of James Chance rolling on the floor and punching rock critics in the face:
Free Pizza (FL, formerly Boston) – Just like no one can resist free pizza, no one can resist a good party and when you put the two together you get BUFU Records associates Free Pizza. Led by Jesus Vio this band parties so hard that all of the song titles on their debut KOOL IS THE ROOL were written in uppercase (including, peculiarly enough, a song called Porty).
Better/different version of Porty made it to 2014 LP BOSTON, MA (this time only the album title being all uppercase) which finds the band musing on net babes, freedom pizza (alas – no mention of freedom fries since its an instrumental), ducks and other fun topics.
As a bonus, here are videos by Free Pizza singing odes to their former hometown (that would be Boston, of course) and Downtown Boys bringing down the house live!