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ryan garbes - Sweet Hassle
Coming across like a treasured bootleg of a long rumoured demo from a band that probably split before releasing its best work, ‘Sweet Hassle’ is an album to cherish. Ryan Garbes is probably better known for offering his instrumental prowess to Wet Hair and Raccoo-oo-oon, and here he finally gets to flex his solo muscles, and comes up with a record that stands tall and proud in the Woodsist catalogue. It’s not an electronic album but there’s a hell of a lot of electronics, neither is it a rock album but damned if there aren’t a bunch of rock songs scattered across the record. It’s a singular vision from an artist who is more than confident in his style; his experience in one band or another has set him in good stead and if there’s one thing that ‘Sweet Hassle’ is, it’s truly free. With the spirit of early Lou Reed (as if the title wasn’t enough of a giveaway) and early Suicide, this reminds me of a time when young artists released powerful and original music. This definitely ain’t chillwave, that’s for damn sure. Recommended.