The Hyena Kill have been kicking my arse for years. My introduction to their ferocious, in-your-face brand of hard-rock noise came a few years back at a tiny bar in Chorlton, Manchester. Since then, it’s been a pleasure to see them go from strength to strength, their popularity truly flourishing through huge support shows in Europe and constant touring.
Six months in the making, ‘Atomised’ was mastered in the world famous Abbey Road Studios following a Pledge Music campaign that helped fund the project. On the Pledge page, the band mentioned that they poured their collective heart and soul into the record and it’s hard to believe any different.
Atomised kicks off with the huge lead single ‘Crosses’ – A fitting introduction for both the record and the calibre of punishing noise the duo specialise in. That first 20-odd seconds feels like you’re heading into battle, followed up by a riff as dirty as the football boots I never used to clean as a sprog. Talk about riffs – the record is inundated with them – each one as horrid and gnarly as the last. As for Lorna’s drumming, I’ve heard the term ‘muscular’ used a number of times to describe it and it couldn’t be truer. Meaty as fuck!
‘Your Loss’ and ‘Tongue Tied’ have Steve practically screaming himself hoarse, whilst older track ‘Still Sick’ features the gnarliest of breakdowns, sounding almost Sabbath-esque. Punishing,unrelenting and headache inducing! Even the artwork is bang on – The Hyena Kill having been in the business of crushing skulls and obliterating heads for years!
Tracks like ‘The Waiting Room’, ‘Erase You’ and ‘Atomised’ see The Hyena Kill at potentially their most interesting. The Waiting Room brings the pace right down; an unexpected but welcome change at the mid-way point. Gloomy and atmospheric, it really shows off the band’s writing chops and harks back to the bands formative years with its haunting female vocal. Erase You brings back that feeling of making your way to the battleground, the frenzied opening minute building gloriously to its passionate, roaring chorus. The title track has The Hyena Kill really spreading out their sound, leaving absolutely nothing left in the tank. The near two minute closing section is a definite highlight of the whole album.
Atomised is a hellacious debut. The culmination of all the hard graft both Lorna and Steve have put in over the years, Atomised is the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next, as they take their next steps as a band and capitalise on their growth in popularity.