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- Sweet Hassle by Ryan Garbes
6/10 Mike Staff review, 12 May 2011
Ryan Garbes drums for Wet Hair, and was previously sticksman for swampy freakout-pedlars Raccoo-oo-oon. This is his second LP of self-recorded solo ramblings. Ryan plays drums and guitar and organ and probably all sorts of other things here. At its best moments it's quite Velvet Undergroundy, and there's some nice moments of free chuntering that kind of tread a middle ground between No Neck Blues Band's more subdued workouts and Moondog's weird percussive compositions. For something that's entirely the work of one man it does sound pretty unfocused at times, but it impresses me that he can put together something piece by piece on his own and still have it sound so free and spontaneous. The second side opens with some kind of a drone jam which then goes into some kind of passage of underwater-sounding piano and very Lou Reed-esque vocals. Largely this is an album of barely-coherent dream pop, though. Very woozy and blurred around the edges, like the good memories that are left after your mind's blocked out something terrible.
9/10 Chemmy Customer review, 2nd October 2013
It's been a while since I've truely engaged with a contemporary album for any length of time but I've been listening to Sweet Hassle continually since I bought it. There's something about the sepia-toned cover that seeps into the music... I hate reviewing music in the context of drugs but it's impossible not to. This album is so high. This music is so fucking high. Like if ecstasy got you high but made you feel a little hatred instead of a little love. Codeine and bourbon. The songs begin like sloppy home demos, but are layered upon and seeped with a real, tangible, edgy emotion that it ends up sounding like a new kind of rock 'n' roll. Bewitched keyboards and organs feature predominantly throughout adding a production sheen that is half twisted. I don't know what Ryan Garbes set out to do, all I do know is he's created a true modern classic of alternative rock.
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