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.
Tickets to Hassle Fest 7 can be purchased via IndieGoGo – in the meantime here’s a look at artists performing at the festival this year (don’t forget to check out HF Mixtape 1, HF Mixtape 2 and HF Mixtape 3)
PC Worship (New York) – My Lens off of this NYC band’s upcoming EP Basement Hysteria could’ve been a lost track/b-side from either Earth or Sunn O))). Its a monolithic, crushingly heavy drone that shifts and mutates endlessly throughout the 13 minute composition. PW’s lengthy back catalog contains anything from similarly long and drony excursions like two tracks from 2009 Sunburnt to punkish/thrashy (and trashy) avant-garde of Toxic Love and Beat Punk LPs.
As Pitchfork review of the band’s 2014 Social Rust LP puts it “PC Worship is, in essence, a twisted, low-pitched vision of subterranean psychedelia—variously made of bad-moon-lit trash-punk, droning minimalism, prepared pianos, and Albert Ayler-worshipping sax freak-outs”.
World Cup (Boston) – Along with (New England) Patriots, WC are one of the bands that, despite their name, have nothing to do with sports whatsoever (they’re both similar in that neither band name is very Googleable). If the title like Commander Island doesn’t give you an idea of what lies ahead you might want to go back and play some of those old 8-bit favorites – World Cup clearly worships at the altar of Nintendo Entertainment System (In his review of the band’s debut EP Boston Hassle‘s Jonathan Donaldson described their music as low-budget version of Stereolab).
Battle Trance (NYC) – According to New Amsterdam Records bio, BT’s leader Travis Laplante woke up one morning with a clear vision of how he’s going to create a band of four tenor saxophonists. The resulting LP Palace of Wind is an endless maze of layered sounds bouncing off each other and blending into one gigantic torrent. Palace of Wind is also the kind of record that not so much asks but demands a full concentration from the listener – missing out on small details and textures hidden in all of three album’s tracks means missing out on LP as a whole.
The Channels (Boston) – The Pill, an opening track off of The Channels second LP Disposable Camera, could well be thought of as modern version of what Arto Lindsay’s bands Mars and DNA were churning out deep in the bowels of New York in the late 70s and early 80s. Though initially it may sound too abrasive and non-user friendly, with repeated listens The Pill reveals just how much emphasis the band puts on composition and atmosphere.
Same can be said about Disposable Camera on the whole (tell me that its not mutant begging for mercy on Symptom Vintage) – its a huge step up from 9 untitled instrumentals of Lo-Fi Fruit, the band’s debut.