GETTING INTO: Hassle Records, As Chosen By Brutus

Independent label Hassle Records has homed some of the most exciting UK bands over the last few years, boasting the likes of Turbowolf, Rolo Tomassi and The James Cleaver Quintet as some of the names to grace their roster and also provide a platform for the big hitting North American bands of Cancer Bats and Alexisonfire to release records over here. Enter Belgian three-piece Brutus, a heavy yet atmospheric band that are preparing to release their debut record ‘Burst’ via Hassle. To celebrate the newcomers arrival at the label, we caught up with guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden who has picked his top 5 favourite releases from Hassle Records over the years.


I discovered Thursday when I was about 16 with their album ‘War All The Time’. It was the perfect soundtrack for a young adult. When ‘A City By The Light Divided’ came out a couple of years later it blew me away! It’s not just the songs that got me hooked, but also the awesome production of the album. It’s a perfect mix of chaos, rawness and melody. For me it’s a step higher than their previous work and the best record they ever made.


Ever since my uncle gave me ‘The Queen Is Dead’ by The Smiths when I was 12 I’ve been a huge fan. Fast forward a couple a years to when I saw Million Dead play a small show in my hometown of Leuven. That night I saw Frank Turner smash a bottle and roll around in the broken glass. Of course I had to then get everything they ever released! At the local recordstore they only had this compilation on which Million Dead covers The Smiths… life is good! This record was in my stereo for two years straight.


I’d heard of Alkaline Trio during my teens and even had some songs on an old cassette tape but I got into them really hard when a friend of mine let me borrow ‘Crimson’. For a couple of weeks I listened to nothing else but this record and their entire back catalogue. How could I have missed this?… I still have to return my friends copy…


Propagandhi was one of the first bands that got me looking more into hardcore when I was a teenager. The aggression, song-structures, and the lyrics. It all sounded very next level to me. It also never ceases to amaze me how Chris Hannah actually sings these songs and plays these riffs at the same time. It blew me away as a kid, it’s even more awesome now. I still listen to Propagandhi on a monthly basis!


During my early twenties you could hear My Chemical Romance everywhere. Though not really my cup of tea, I did like what they were doing on ‘The Black Parade’. I liked the Queen vibe I was getting. It’s because of signing to Hassle that I found out Frank Iero was still releasing records under his own name. And that’s a shame, because I love his sound! Frank sounds a lot “dirtier” than I expected and you can’t go wrong with putting a country song on a rock record like he did on ‘Parachutes’! Very cool record! I wish I found out sooner!

The band’s new album, ‘Burst’, is available February 24th through Hassle Records, and can be pre-ordered from iTunes (here) or their official site (here).

BRUTUS are hitting the road to support the record on the following dates:

MARCH 29 – BRIGHTON, Green Door
MARCH 30 – LONDON, Old Blue Last
MARCH 31 – BRISTOL, The Fleece
APRIL 2 – RAMSGATE, Music Hall

You can follow the band via their official website (here), Facebook (here) and Twitter (here).