CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF HASSLE RECORDS
A SERIES OF RECORDS ’15 X 15′ RELEASED 30TH OCTOBER 2020
Independence is a state of mind. Recent events have proved as much. In the case of Hassle Records it is also a reality. Taking inspiration from independent labels such as Rough Trade and Sub Pop, Hassle itself was set-up 15 years ago on the simple premise of providing artists with a platform by which they could truly express themselves on their own terms. So today, Hassle Records is one of the UK’s most prolific independent labels.
This year, Hassle celebrates its 15th anniversary, it does so in good health and with a project that is simply titled 15 X 15 – a series of special editions of 15 key releases that have shaped the label’s existence. Issued in three batches of five, every release will be fittingly issued on crystal coloured vinyl & released 30th October 2020.
“2020 marks 15 years of Hassle Records. So, we wanted to celebrate. It only seems like yesterday that we had to change the label’s name (for bullshit legal reasons) and start again. But we got off to a great start putting out the Juliette Lewis EP ‘…Like A Bolt Of Lightning ‘ as the first release. And it’s been a great musical journey ever since. Never wanting be constrained by a ‘genre sound’, we work with artists and music that we simply love, and from there we just hope that other people will also love the records that we put out. This ethos has been the ultimate foundation in the label’s history from the start.
To that end, for our 15th anniversary we have decided to re-issue 15 records from varying parts of our history and catalogue, all as limited vinyl-only releases. Hopefully our choices accurately represent what a diverse sound we have to the label, and that the passion we have for the music and the bands shines through.” says Wez (co-owner)
The series starts, of course, with that first Juliette And The Licks EP, …Like A Bolt Of Lightning and extends over a hand-picked collections of albums selected by owners Nigel and Wez. Others in the first batch of 5 will be Casey, frankiero andthe cellabration, Tubelord & We Are The Ocean.
15 X 15 PART ONE
1 – Juliette and the Licks ‘…Like A Bolt Of Lightning’ (Feb ’05)
Limited edition & hand-numbered // Gold & Crystal Clear Half & Half Vinyl
First ever Hassle release, first ever pressing on vinyl. As the title suggests a short, but sharp, debut for the newly formed Hassle label. And one that had a big impact. Great songs and real attitude were what appealed about Juliette’s music. From the cover, to the song titles, to the sound, and the energy – a perfect start. And, as unlikely as it would seem, all delivered by a movie star.
5 – Casey ‘Love Is Not Enough’ (Aug ’16)
Limited edition & hand-numbered // White & Crystal Clear Half & Half Vinyl
Tom Weaver (the front man and vocalist) used Casey to exercise his many demons. He provided the vocal and lyrical vision for the band, and an extraordinary knack for getting his emotion and passion into videos. In return, the band provided what was a perfect musical backdrop to Tom’s troubled thoughts to create something truly unique.
Y – frnkiero andthe cellabration ‘stomachaches’ (Aug ’14)
Limited edition & hand-numbered // Silver & Crystal Clear Half & Half Vinyl
Unpolished and raw punk attitude underpin the sound on this collection of songs, the debut solo release from Frank Iero (of My Chemical Romance fame). Having missed out on signing MCR by a whisker, it was such a thrill to be finally working directly with Frank.
E – Tubelord ‘Our First American Friends’ (Oct ’09) / ‘Tezcatlipoca’ (Aug ’10)
Limited edition & hand-numbered // Orange & Crystal Clear Half & Half Vinyl
Double vinyl, including first ever pressing of the Tezcatlipoca EP
Tubelord were an important part of UK alt/math/indie rock scene. The appeal here was a UK act working at a grass roots level as part of a scene that was fighting to break through from the underground and beyond. We’ve decided to collect together the album we put out and EP for the first time as it seems fitting for this 15 X 15 campaign.
A – We Are The Ocean ‘Cutting Our Teeth’ (Feb ’10)
Limited edition & hand-numbered // Red & Crystal Clear Half & Half Vinyl
First pressing on vinyl. This very young Essex band were making a real name for themselves in the late Noughties. The guitarist was just 17 when they were signed by us (too young in fact to to legally sign his contract, which his parents did for him), but age had very little to do with their impact. A combination of raw aggression/shouted vocals juxtaposed with amazing soaring melodic vocal, allowed this debut album to showcase the fact that UK acts could potential compete with their American counterparts.
Blood Command, Brutus, Gloo, Petrol Girls, Phoxjaw, Press Club, Stake, Swedish Death Candy, The Homeless Gospel Choir, Wess Meets West, The Joy Formidable, The Used
The roots of the label hark back to the time when co-founders Nigel Adams and Wez were working at Mushroom Records, their core charges at the label in the ‘90s consisting of Ash, Garbage, Muse and Ween. They named their first venture Eat Sleep, and duly signed a licensing deal with Drive Thru’ Records, the rising Californian label whose roster included the cream of emerging U.S. punk and post-hardcore bands. But the pair were keen to sign their own acts. They did so by creating two new labels, Sorepoint (the rock label) and, subsequently, Full-Time Hobby- White Denim, School Of Seven Bells & more. Most significantly of all, they signed a band from Chicago that few people in the UK and Europe had heard of at the time – Fall Out Boy. Securing the rights to their debut album, 2003’s Take This To The Grave, for a laughable amount, Nigel and Wez engineered a campaign that not only gave Pete Wentz and his men their first gold record in the UK, but which also heralded the mainstream rise of emo as a genre.