The Hyena Kill – Spun
Wrapped in a tangible flair, on Spun The Hyena Kill sound like world beaters
Words: Phil Weller
Their first full release since 2016’s stonking debut album, Atomised, which thrust them into the heart of the UK rock scene, new EP Spun takes The Hyena Kill’s feral, anger-channelling sound into classier plains. They’ve got added depth here; there’s a gorgeous, pained gloss to Steven Dobbs’ softer vocal passages, there’s a more intricate attention to the detail to their arrangements and a scintillating, tangible flair to their crushing crescendos. This is a release which will take them places; it’s the perfect weapon to take to the host of festivals that have been quick to book them for performances this summer.
Singles Exit Mask and Pound of Flesh burn brightly, reverberating with an intelligent blend of full-bore fury, where grinding guitar riffs battle with Lorna Blundell’s pyrotechnic drumming and moments of calm, clarity and space. Dobbs’ personality bleeds all over this record, every time his vocals croon and wail like the ghost of regret you can feel his emotions, their gravity sucking you in and pulling you along for the ride. On Ribbons, raw, cascading guitar chords underpin a vocal performance that takes his love for Deftones and pushes it into a direction that is very much his own.
You feel with this record the band is being pushed by their producer, Andy Hawkins (Black Moth, Hawk Eyes), as well as each member pushing themselves individually. The resulting performances are a cut above anything they’ve ever done before, with their subtle change in direction – which is most notable with the vocals, where singing has grown in its importance and delivery across these six tracks – makes them sound like world beaters. Whilst the band has been producing sterling rock tracks for years now, on Spun there’s a magic that has never been as evocative within the duo as it is now. The riffs are loaded with creativity and are memorable and infectious; their chorus iced with the kind of addictive excellence that bores obsessive repeat listens. This is some of the best rock music being produced in the UK right now and it’s coming straight out of Manchester.