The efforts made by The Hyena Kill over the last two years come to a deserved end at the Deaf Institute
Tonight marked the definitive climax of almost two years of work put forward by The Hyena Kill and their team in creating the phenomenal debut album ‘Atomised’. Forming in 2011, the two-piece band (Steven Dobb, Lorna Blundell) have dominated the Manchester scene with their heavy rock style applying hard grooves with enticing vocal lines. After releasing two EPs (‘Gush’ and ‘Scrape My Bones’), in 2012/13 the duo went back to work, working on their craft and gigging constantly before finally releasing a long awaited debut album. Performing in their kingdom, the bands album launch sold out the 300 capacity Deaf Institute, showing that despite The Hyena Kill’s dated realisation, they remain at large with a dedicated fan base.
Their support band came in the form of Thing, a four-piece band from Stockport, also beginning their own unique journey of heavy rock. However, this band was different. Usually the opening act is nothing worth of note, but with Thing’s unique sound came an array of unlikely influences. They combined grunge, surfer, psychedelia and even a little country into their musical mixing bowl creating an astonishing five-song set that left you wanting more. Approaching the stage to a mind-numbing amount of feedback the surprisingly young band jumped into a mesmerising set, blending distorted guitars with angelic synth pads, ferocious drumming and a nonchalant attitude to how incredible they were. Thing showed an unhindered professionalism to their performance, as they showcased their best material; each song possessing it’s own unique character. Ending on their hit ‘Carousel’, the band drew in the crowd, as their songs ironically disintegrated into entropic chaos, and sublime jams.
Next up was Sky Valley Mistress, showing off a less unexpected but equally appreciated, heavier sound. As Thing drew the crowds in Sky Valley Mistress knocked them down, creating an excited buzz amongst the growing crowds with their hard hitting rock n’ roll. Fronted by the excellent Kayley Davis, the band ripped into a blistering set complete with sass, swagger and attitude, starting with the heavy blues sound of ‘The Day of the Lion’. Continuing onwards the band pumped energy into the congested venue with ‘Smoke Fairy’, proving their worth as a true warm up band, throwing in QOTSA ‘Song for the Deaf’ references and tying in overdriven distortion and extended jams complete with exciting fills.
After Sky Valley left the stage, the main act Hyena Kill entered the stage to an uproar of cheers, a tightly packed crowd awaited their set as bodies filled every crevice of the room. It was apparent that the real fans had came, with chants of the band and screams of admiration erupting before they had played a single note. Leaping into their hit single ‘Crosses’, the duo commandeered the stage with their almost atonal rock, and powerful vocals. They performed with a vigorous presence, finally getting the entire room jumping. Despite the simplistic set up of guitar and drums, Hyena Kill performed with an exceptionally tight and synchronised ability. Possessing the ability to perform transparently over live and recorded setting, they set themselves apart from the likes of other two-piece bands Deap Vally and Blood Red Shoes who could only prove themselves through one medium.
The band was filled with excitement and a volatile passion, channelling a captivating set with the new tracks off of ‘Atomised’. Following up with previous singles ‘Still Sick’, ‘Tongue Tied’ and ‘Blisters’ the twosome never showed signs of faltering as they charged through their fiery set. They only changed up the tone for a mesmerising performance of ‘The Waiting Room’, completely remaking their hard riff sound for a more emotive vibe. Close friend and featured artist, Sally Mason, joined them on stage for a one off performance of the collaborative effort, before jumping right back into the swing of things with ‘Erase You’. The band finished on album closer and title track ‘Atomised’, to an outbreak of applause and support. The efforts they made for the last two years had come to a deserved end, and although they may only appear to be an upcoming band from Manchester, based on their supporters, their sets, and their performance they are set for much bigger thing to come.
This Hyena Kill article was written by John Gittins, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo credit : Sebastian Siwko