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Third Man Records Announces New Laughing Hyenas Reissues

Third Man Records Announces New Laughing Hyenas Reissues

In partnership with Touch and Go Records, Third Man Records is re-issuing the full discography of punishing Michigan hardcore punk blues band Laughing Hyenas for the first time in over 25 years. The first two of these reissues, Merry-Go-Round and You Can't Pray A Lie, were released in February of this year. The second installment, which includes Life Of Crime, Hard Times/Crawldouble LP, and a "bootleg" covers 7", arrive next Friday, December 7th. All of the Laughing Hyenas reissues can be pre-ordered HERE.

Third Man Records, Touch and Go Records and Laughing Hyenas will celebrate the release Life Of Crime LP and the Crawl/Covers & Hard Times 2xLP re-issues on Saturday, December 15th at the Marble Bar in Detroit from 7-11pm. The festivities will include door prizes, DJs, a rousing archival slide show, frivolity and maybe even a drink special or two. Exclusive versions of each record will be on sale at the party.

With their roots firmly planted in Detroit's Cass Corridor punk rock and hardcore scene of the early 80s, John Brannon (Negative Approach) and Larissa Strickland (L-Seven), along with the locked in rhythm section of Kevin Strickland and Jim Kimball, the Laughing Hyenas took it to a completely different plane. Taking pointers from The Birthday Party and Funhouse-era Stooges as well as early blues and jazz artists, the Laughing Hyenas were a fierce, sulfuric blast of noise.

While their style didn't change much over the course of their first three albums, they kept improving on the formula; and on Life Of Crime, they reached their peak! Kevin's thick and agile bass lines and Jim's bone-breaking drumming make a rhythm section that is incomparable. Larissa's blistering guitar somehow builds haunting melodies out of the sonic chaos. Brannon is a punk rock whirlwind with the conviction of an old bluesman, his relentless howl makes this one of his finest vocal performances to date and make this a truly disturbing and terrifying listen.

This is the last record of the "Butch Vig Trilogy" -- a beautiful, creative partnership that resulted in three untouchable records and helped point bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth in Butch Vig's direction.

Bonus material

-"Save Me Tomorrow" - LOC studio sessions that has been unheard by Butch or the band since it was recorded (first time on vinyl)

-Liner notes by Mark Arm (Mudhoney) and Julia Cafritz (Pussy Galore and Free Kitten)

-Unseen photos and flyer reprints

By the time the Hyenas went back into the studio, Kevin Strickland and Jim Kimball had left to form Mule, leaving John and Larissa without a rhythm section. Many people thought this marked the end of the band. Not the case. Todd Swalla (founding member of Necros) stepped in on drums and Kevin Ries on bass. Todd is a much more subtle timekeeper than Jim and Ries had no problem locking in with him, but stayed in the background a little more than Strickland leaving Larissa to take up a little more of the slack. She rises to the occasion, her leads a bit more melodic than before, although still blanketed in a sheet of noise. Brannon's anguished vocals will still peel the paint of the walls and over the new slightly toned down direction, somehow seem even more extreme.

Crawl is notably the only of the Hyenas records recorded in Detroit at White Room Studios.

Bonus material (All tracks from the Covers "bootleg" 7")

-"Solid Gold Hell" (The Scientists)

-"I Want You Right Now" (The MC5)

-"Under My Thumb" (The Rolling Stones)

-"Serves Me Right To Suffer" (John Lee Hooker)

Hard Times disc:

This album saw one more line up change: Kevin Ries left and one time Necros Ron Sakowski stepped in, the Hyenas went down to Memphis to the legendary Easley Studios to record their final LP with the one and only Doug Easley. On Hard Times, we see the Hyenas influences are more Howlin' Wolf/Muddy Waters than they are Nick Cave/Iggy Pop. The full-on sonic assault of the first three records has given way to a hard hitting groove that has a graceful Exile-era Stones vibe. Larissa's simple and one-of-a-kind guitar playing has never been better. Brannon does more crooning than screaming on this one, giving us their most "musical" offering yet. Every bit as emotionally ruthless as their previous releases, the Laughing Hyenas went out on a high note with Hard Times.

Bonus material

-"Shine" - from the Jabberjaw compilation

-Liner notes by Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Chrome Cranks) and Allyson Baker (Dirty Ghosts, Teen Crud Combo)

-Unseen photos and flyer reprints

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