“You utter bastard. I’m never introducing you to a band again!” That’s the response I got from Rachel when I told her The Hyena Kill’s new EP had landed in my inbox. In fairness, before she joined the crew, it was her who told me to check them out, telling me I’d lose control of my bladder. Spun seems set to make good on her promise.
As ever, the noise rock duo make a hell of a racket to the point you’d think there’s double (if not more) their number on the EP. Guitars are filthy and thrashy in equal measure from Steven Dobb. Alongside that, you’ve got his screaming vocals where you half-expect him to pop a blood vessel or ten. However, he’s able to provide cleaner ones such as on “Exit Mask” and with its dark lyrical content, it makes for a chilling opener to the EP.
Meanwhile, there’s the pounding drums from Lorna Blundell on tracks like “Pound of Flesh” – the most solid, finessed piece of drumming I’ve heard from her. As an excellent drummer already, it’s the standout part of the track which also happens to be the highlight of the EP. Dobb provides some brutal screams towards the end as he bounces off Blundell’s drumming. There’s also “Panic Womb” which made its appearance at the tail end of last year. At only eighty seconds long and everything dialled up to the proverbial eleven, it’s the most Hyena Kill song ever.
Whilst it’s not all aggression and swagger, “Ribbons” and “Dare to Swim” have more ethereal soundscapes to them yet still ensuring there’s a hefty helping of filth and flat-out rage. Dobb revisits his vocal delivery from the opener to provide some spine-tingling screams like there’s real pain laced into his voice. It’s also here where Dobb and Blundell as a unit show how diverse they can make their unique sound. Whilst all the songs have their own individual sound, there’s a definite effort to ensure it’s not Re-Atomised but still sounding like only the duo can.
Spun has definitely been worth the wait. Having heard some of these on their recent tour with Arcane Roots and being blown away at their Manchester gig last year, it’s great to finally own some of their new material, it’s going to fit in so well with the older songs. The two-piece have made some of their best material to date; varied, raw and as visceral as it gets, this one will be on repeat for quite some time.
Spun is released on 23rd April