Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Laughing Hyenas

Laughing Hyenas were a punk/blues band from Ann Arbor, Michigan that were around from 1985 to 1995. In the band's ten year run, they only had two consistent members, which was vocalist John Brannon (formerly and currently from Negative Approach) and guitarist Larissa Strickland (formerly from L-Seven, not to be confused with L7). They had a few different bassists and drummers, though their original two (Jim Kimball and Kevin Munro) did later play in a fantastic band called Mule. Kimball also played drums in The Jesus Lizard a few years down the line. Those two guys were replaced by the bassist and drummer from Necros, to continue the hardcore punk lineage in this band.

Regardless, back to Laughing Hyenas. Though the band's background was definitely hardcore punk, they took a markedly different approach to punk as a whole. They came out with the same blisteringly intensity, but with more blues/garage rock influence, making these songs just as visceral, but with a larger musical palette to take from. Brannon's vocals just shred, and he does sound quite different to his distinct bark in Negative Approach. Strickland comes up with some very inventive riffs that blend punk, blues, and a hint of noise rock together effortlessly. Their sound did progress through the years, though. Their first two LP's are sonically similar, with their magnum opus Life Of Crime having slightly slicker production (with play sin their favour). It's their final LP, however, where the band's change is sound is definitely apparent. It kind of likes a cross between The Rolling Stones and Nick Cave (who was a definite influence on their whole career, especially his stuff with The Birthday Party), which is a fantastic mix. It's darker than the rest of the band's material, and the early raw punk influence has clearly matured into a full, deep sound in which the band really explores its ideas in length.

Since it doesn't really fit naturally anywhere in this post, I must as well as just lump it in and say that almost all their releases were put out through Touch and Go. After they break up, Brannon formed Easy Action, and years later reformed Negative Approach. Strickland sadly died in 2006, but with phenomenal music like this, her legacy won't soon be forgotten. Enjoy.

1. Stain
2. Hell's Kitchen
3. That Girl
4. Gabriel
5. Playground
6. What Tomorrow Brings
7. 18

Note: This was their demo tape

1. Stain
2. Hell's Kitchen
3. That Girl
4. Gabriel
5. Playground
6. What Tomorrow Brings
7. Soul Kiss
8. Candy [Bonus Track]
9. Dedications To The One I Love (Live) [Bonus Track]
10. Don't Bogue My High [Bonus Track]
11. Public Animal #9 [Bonus Track]

Note: Bonus tracks from a 1995 reissue of this EP

1. Love's My Only Crime
2. Seven Come Eleven
3. Black Eyed Susan
4. Lullaby And Goodnight
5. Sister
6. Desolate Son
7. Dedications To The One I Love
8. New Gospel

1. Everything I Want
2. Hitman
3. Let It Burn
4. Kick
5. Here We Go Again
6. Wild Heart
7. Outlaw
8. Life Of Crime

1. Crawl
2. Living In Darkness
3. Walk
4. Girl

1. Just Can't Win
2. Hard Time Blues
3. You're So Cruel
4. Stay
5. Slump
6. House Of The Blues
7. Each Dawn I Die


  1. a good way to end music post in january

  2. I've been looking for Crawl and Hard Times for ages, cheers!

  3. been looking for a Tomorrow discography everywhere -- any chance you have info on them?


  4. Could you upload easy actions discography please? Saw em with dinosaur jr a week ago and they had no CDs to sell :( .

  5. The song "Crawl" skips just before the first chorus kicks in. Is there a better mp3?