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Hassle Hound

The mighty and mysterious Hassle Hound conjure up a sophisticated mess of complimentary contradictions, voraciously sampling everything in their paths. The band was formed around four years ago with core members: Tony Swain (guitar, loops, samples) Mark Vernon (loops, samples, electronics and balloons) and Lizzy Swimmers (Violin & Vocals) occasionally aided and abetted by David Fulford (keyboards & electronics). Over their short but prolific career they have built an impressive and eclectic body of material inviting comparisons to artists as diverse as The Books, The Durutti Column, This Heat and soundtracks to films such as the Wickerman, Midnight Cowboy and the work of Ennio Morricone.

They create a music of accomplished innocence, lush and melodic but with a haunting undercurrent of melancholy and menace. Samples and loops from a range of unlikely sources are merged with live instrumentation to create wonky off-kilter avant-pop with bite. The group have played extensively in the U.K. and France, alongside the likes of Melt Banana, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Knifehandchop, Scatter & Volcano the Bear. With a clutch of tracks included on compilations, a split 7" on Twisted Nerve’s singles club and a split 12" on French label Textile, with Oren Ambarchi’s Sun, their music is gradually reaching appreciative new ears. Their debut mini album, ‘Scaring the Grass in the Garden’ (released on ‘Pickled Egg’) is described as being like Brian Wilson and Brian Eno joining forces for a cover version of the Camberwick Green theme tune.


'Scaring the Grass in the Garden' 10" mini LP
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 42)

"These folks delight in genre defying. Their extensive use of odd samples recalls People Like Us, musically they resemble a whimsical jazz band playing toy instruments, Young Marble Giants demos, or Cale era Velvets in a mellow mood, and surrealistic electronic loopery flailing it's tendrils at the moon with a real band bubbling under the surface. Easy listening strings circle and cycle, while antiquated radio voices read fairy tales, or fragments of children's stories. Bright, colorful, upbeat with stoned candy puzzles, and collaged delights in the corners, and running along the hedges" [George Parsons, Dream magazine]

"Spanning Huddersfield, Warsaw and Glasgow, Hassle Hound are the electronic and melodic product of 4 musicians, one of whom makes his living through kites and the flying of said kites. Certainly not four teens in the drummer's Dad's garage style ensemble these. However, their diverse backgrounds make for one bafflingly good record, which intersperses affecting guitar strokes with random non-sequital vocal samples, and found-sound beeps and clacks. 'Rickety Venue' is like the soundtrack to a Twin Peaks Arabian fantasy, whilst 'Crickets & Castbirds' is French Jazz farting from a crackly old wireless" [The Vanity Project]

'Rickety Venue' (MP3)
'Hallo to the Owl' (MP3)

Download Scaring the Grass in the Garden from eMusic
Listen to Scaring the Grass in the Garden on Last.fm

UK: £10.00

EU: €16.00

US: $24.00


The Vanity Project


Twisted Nerve Un/Released Records
Lizzy Swimmers website


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