The Hyena Kill Still Sick/Blisters Single Launch Party
All hail Hyena Kill, king and queen of new music in Manchester for one night. The Soup Kitchen was packed out on Saturday, 23rd March in honour of the awesome pair, who brought with them a wickedly diverse selection of local bands to launch their new single and make a whole lot of noise.
Elbowdrop got proceedings off to a thunderous start. These boys are not shy or retiring; they had an impressive amount of energy, turning the stage into their own private party, in celebration of it being the first gig for the vocalist’s unborn twins, how rock and roll. Their punky and obnoxious sound set the scene for an evening which promised to be loud and full of personality.
Apparently this was The Empty Page’s first ever gig as a band, which is hard to believe as their set was so cool, brimming with quiet confidence. There is something about three-pieces that is irresistibly pleasing to the ears and this band harnesses the power of three to great effect, balancing each instrument to create a dynamic which works so well as a whole.
Frontwoman Kel is deliciously dark and intriguing, equal parts aggression to disarming sweetness. Her vocals have a powerful clarity which she projected effortlessly above the sometimes over-powering PA system at Soup Kitchen. Being able to hear the lyrics is an unexpected luxury sometimes but she managed to pull it off, delivering the perfectly-balanced songs with moments of grungy magic. It was a total knock-out debut.
"Guitarist and vocalist Steven Dobb is effortless in hyping up the crowd and he and drummer Lorna Blundell were palpably feeding off their energy."
More than satisfying my appetite for trios, Stockport band Under brought their distinctive and mesmerising progressive noise to the party. Described by the band themselves as “dirge”, their sound is not like anything I have heard before. It’s intense. Think of the climax of a Pantera song slowed right down nearly passed the point of recognition. It has an unexpected hypnotic quality so by the time the band finished the room was electric in its anticipation for the headline act.
Well, what can I say about The Hyena Kill that you don’t already know? Judging by the crowd, they have a bunch of fans (shall we call them the ‘The Hyena Bots’?) who adore them, and with this performance they will no doubt have deservedly earned many more, including me. Who would have thought that two people could make such a magnificent noise. Hyena Kill has a relentless drum-driven sound which is heavy but undeniably “dancey”, it demands that you move to it and get involved.
Guitarist and vocalist Steven Dobb is effortless in hyping up the crowd - people at the front were going crazy for him and he and drummer Lorna Blundell were palpably feeding off their energy. The robot heads from the band’s whimsical video for single Still Sick were doing the selfie rounds throughout the venue too, adding to the beer-spilling, carefree, hallelujah it’s-the-weekend party atmosphere. The band is simply fantastic live, their recordings don’t do them justice. Their attitude and unstoppable energy must be seen to be believed.
Words: Scarlett Pares Landells