Album Review: Last Hyena – How Soon Is Mars? (Stereobrain Records)

Bristol progressive math/post-rock trio Last Hyena’s forthcoming debut album How Soon Is Mars? is set for release on the 30th April 2021 via Cardiff independent label Stereobrain Records.

The simplest way to describe Last Hyena’s How Soon is Mars? is to use words like confounding, confusing, head-scratching, weird, fascinating, unique, clever and exciting. Take your pick, although no doubt once you hear it, you’ll have many more of your own.

There’s no pretending this isn’t a difficult album to listen too. It doesn’t just skirt the line between genius and madness as much as tightrope walk it. Super progressive instrumental music, eclectic as hell and with sudden, powerful bursts of post. Trying to keep up is hard work simply because it’s impossible to gauge where the track and album will go next.

Though, that’s not to suggest there’s not a ton of enjoyment to be found throughout. It just means you’ll have to work for it. Work that’s well worth putting in because Last Hyena deserve the attention. This debut isn’t just portraying how much imagination they have. It’s showcasing how talented they are to put such a high level of experimentation forth on a debut. Then there’s the flair, driven by post melodies and grander soundscapes.

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Would vocals work? It’s hard to say but considering how much room to breathe is given to the instruments, it doesn’t sound like it is missing them. You can’t help but think that if they were here, they might end up distracting from the multitude of twists and turns that exist throughout.

This is the epitome of an album that needs more than a few listens to fully appreciate. Although, irregardless of if it’s your first listen or tenth, the absolutely ballsy approach of Last Hyena here will never not impress.

Last Hyena – How Soon Is Mars? Full Track Listing:

1. Where’s Laika?
2. Terra
3. Chilton
4. Doctorpus
5. Interlude
6. You Still Look Tired
7. Programmed to Lose
8. I’m Supposed to Be the Good One


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Last Hyena - How Soon Is Mars? (Stereobrain Records)
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