My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Sun
    1
  • Mon
    2
  • Tue
    3
  • Wed
    4
  • Thu
    5
  • Fri
    6
  • Sat
    7
San Diego Fermentation Festival Feb 01, 2015 This fest features artisanal foodmakers and brewers, keynote speaker Sandor Ellix Katz, workshops and presentations from fermentation experts, do-it-yourself stations, and a fermented beverages garden. 68 other events on Sunday, February 1
 
Spin Cycle
A crucial vote on the party’s future happens this month
Check 1, Check 2 | Music & nightlife
Observatory to take over historic location
The World Fare
Dumplings, borscht and Stroganoff highlight the La Mesa eatery’s menu
News
Environmentalist Nicole Capretz takes on SDG&E with new watchdog group
Film
MLK biopic starring David Oyelowo tops our coverage of movies screening around town

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012

Hyena keeps a cool head on new EP

Electro-pop duo flirts with Maroon 5 and dubstep

By Peter Holslin

Hyena WeAreHyena (self-released)

Hyena has moves like Maroon 5. They have bass like Skrillex. On their new EP, WeAreHyena, they seem to have exactly what a band needs to make it in the “Electronic Dance Music” world.

It wasn’t always like this. In a CityBeat feature back in October 2010, the electro-pop duo touted its ability to bridge the gap between North Park indie kids (or “scraggle-muffins,” as drummer Michael Cooper so amusingly called them) and Downtown club-goers (aka “balloon boobies”). But times have changed; “Moves Like Jagger” is a hit, and so-called “EDM” has blown up big-time. And while WeAreHyena—a six-track sampler of a forthcoming full-length LP—does have scraggle-muffin-friendly guitar, some tracks come across like a shrewd attempt to attract balloon boobies and their EDM-loving, Maroon 5-listening ilk.

Just listen to “Never Enough,” in which a dollop of robotic sub bass has “dubstep” written all over it (though, to the band’s credit, the bass never gets loud or crazy enough to really match Skrillex levels of spectacle). And then there’s “One Eye,” which rides on a whistling hook that sounds like it could’ve been cut straight from Maroon 5’s much more famous whistling hook. Indeed, when I first put the song on, I thought I was listening to a remix.

I’m not sure what Hyena’s trying to do here. Are they looking to capitalize on EDM’s popularity and maybe rake in some of those big festival bucks? Or are they wearing their influences on their sleeves, probably a little too obviously?

Fortunately, the duo keeps a cool head even at its most ham-fisted. Cooper’s straightforward beats are nice and tight.

Bryan Stratman never goes overboard with his multi-layered mix of vocals, synths and guitar. The result is often quite sexy: With its glimmering textures, candy-coated hooks and pulsating bass, the dreamy EP highlight, “Sweet Lies,” is as silky-smooth as Astroglide.

The duo’s 2010 debut, We See You, is still the stronger effort. In terms of sheer infectiousness, nothing on WeAre- Hyena quite tops bangers like “Anyone’s Guess” or “Kiss it Off.” But it’s still better than half the stuff the balloon boobies Downtown listen to—and some of those scraggle-muffins might just dig it, too.

Hyena plays at El Dorado on Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1.


Email peterh@sdcitybeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close