The Hyena Kill


I’m still unsure about gigs at The Star & Garter. To me, that venue is The Smiths Disco. First Friday of the month, a gang of folk young and old gather upstairs in the (let’s be honest) grotty venue to sing and dance along to classic Smiths/Morrissey tunes. It’s not to say I’m against the idea of gigs here, but it does feel strange coming here sober to see a band, rather than being off my head, merrily shouting the words to ‘Ask’

Tonight sees an entirely different change of pace in the form of two very loud and very ferocious bands, The Hyena Kill and FALLS – Playing as part of Party Hard, a Manchester club night that generally starts with a gig and then goes on with a DJ set till the early hours. There will be no Smiths songs tonight… Manchester based two piece The Hyena Kill are first up, and for a minute there I’m not sure I can take my focus off frontman Steve’s footwear. Some form of leopard print slip-ons – a delight. They rip into the first tune and it’s a heavy riff fest that has everyone in the room nodding their head in approval. The mood on stage is jovial and front man Steve tells us it’s nice to “see so many familiar faces” as well as the fact that the band have spent all day in the studio recording new material. This segues neatly into a new track and some mic problems aside, it’s a progression of their sound with a bluesier feel, but still packed out with crunchy riffs. There’s a wave of great two piece bands about at the moment, and The Hyena Kill are no exception. They’re a band that really gels well together, with Steve providing the riffs and metal faces whilst drummer Lorna hammers away on the drums. It’s always great to see The Hyena Kill, and they play to a really appreciative crowd. It’s a really good crowd actually, and there’s no pretence from anyone – everyone is just here to have a really good time.



Next up is Welsh four piece FALLS – a band who I’ve heard a lot about but never had the chance to see live. I know bass player Ben from math rock three piece Alpha Male Tea Party, but I’m not entirely familiar with the rest. Coming into the room, the band have got all the mic stands out on the floor and the guitarists are tuning up whilst the drummer sets up on stage. Continuing on the theme of loud-as-you-like heaviness, FALLS pounce into the audience with crunchy riffs with intent to make the ears bleed. Not ones to sit still, the guitarists and bass player wander around the crowd, jumping off benches and climbing on tables, riffing like mad and shouting in people’s faces in the process. I do feel a bit sorry for the drummer though, as the lads with guitars seem to be having all the fun whilst he has to sit on stage…

One of the unexpected highlights of the set comes from a guy who sleeps through the entire thing! Propped up in the corner, head back, if the music wasn’t so loud you probably would have been able to hear him snoring. Not a wise move to fall asleep at a gig, and he was subsequently subjected to lots of crotch thrusting in his face thanks to bass player Ben and will soon likely become an internet sensation judging by the amount of people taking pictures on their camera phones. This doesn’t take anything away from the show though, and only adds to the atmosphere. It’s not all for laughs though – these guys are really something and have a really great sound.

Finishing on ‘Hammers?’, the featured single from their delicately titled EP Dirtbox, the singer climbs one of the main stacks up on stage whilst the bass player and guitarist thrash about in the crowd, where they’ve spent the majority of the set. My first taste of FALLS was a good one (though If it was something you could actually taste, I’m not sure I would…) and I’ll definitely be catching their blend of ‘Fuck Rock’ the next time they’re up North.

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Andy Hughes

Hi, I'm Andy.I'm the man behind Birthday Cake for Breakfast, a site featuring music news, reviews and interviews.Big believer in Birthday Cake, Pizza, math rock and beer (preferably all in one sitting.) I spend my mornings daydreaming about gigs and my evenings going to gigs. Lunch times are spent walking about town listening to Tom Waits.'Id rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy'