The Hyena Kill @ The Deaf Institute
"So proud of The Hyena Kill tonight, sold out show in Manchester and the best I've ever seen them live." – Heather Blewett
“That was immense! One of the finest performances I've seen all year. Full stop. Game over man.” – Gaz Manning
“It was like a sex train that was crashing.” – Rhea Anastasia Gradkowska
I didn’t have time to shower before tonight, but after an hour plus of Steven Dobb riffage the layers of filth which coated me made all that irrelevant anyway. Alongside Lorna Blundell’s animalistic, tub thumping ferocity and Dobb’s vulgar vocals is a musicality belying a dirtiness that a few days without a shower could only dream of.
The venue – sold out tonight – swelled with Mancunian pride as the stalwart twosome introduced us to the meatiest cuts from their forthcoming debut album. Celebrating the successful crowd funding of the record - 98 pledgers have helped the band reach 108% of their goal so far – they’re given a welcome of champions. And every ounce of it, which chokes the smoke filled room here, is well and truly deserved.
A few days ago I bumped into a friend of a friend in a bar. We hadn’t seen each other in about four months. Apparently the last time we were together I’d had a few drinks (I know, shock horror) and, upon him saying that “rock is dead” I unloaded of barrage of rhyme and reason as to why rock is far from deceased, ceased to be and gone to meet its maker. Tonight is proof positive that my rant was not simply inebriated passion – the interior of The Deaf Institute, as the band smash through primal dirge of Crosses, resembles a great big middle finger to the naysayers. Here is a band who have worked their arses off, slaved away over their art right down to the bone, they’ve grown, flourished and become a unique and captivating beast; and being here tonight is damning evidence that all that effort can and does pay off. People care about the band and what they are doing and they feed off that gratefully – executing their most rambunctious and vital show to date with a devilish grit and panache.
Dobb’s guitar work is outstanding, his tone is feral and the grooves that regurgitate from his amplifier, which sound like Tool and Deftones having a brawl, are rich with a staunch trinity of groove, melodicism and punch. Lorna is beyond eye-catching behind the kit. The way she moves as she batters through deft tom heavy beats that have an intrinsic tribalism to them is both barbaric and enthralling.
When Still Sick erupts, closing the night in style, it goes very far in cementing their brilliance. From that staccato gunfire snare roll intro to the humongous doomy breakdown in the middle and beyond it reeks of class…and filth, booze and debauchery.
The world’s a bit of a shitty place right now, what with so many terrorist bastards knocking about. Such stomping rock n’ roll works wonders in restoring our faith in humanity.
Lorna crowd surfs off the stage and I head to Rebellion for a pint, knowing just how alive rock really is.
Words: Phil Weller