The Hyena Dog Robbery The Hyena Dog Robbery

One of the more unusually named Toronto, ON brigades, the Hyena Dog Robbery strike out with 11 tracks steeped in '70s/'80s rock revivalism. Kicking in hard, opener "Bang!" elicits the sensation of proto-NYC punk rock, around the era of when the Heartbreakers and Stooges were hot commodities, not just failing legends. Things take a quick dive though, as follow-up "Dirty Thing" sounds like it was pilfered from the scraps of ZZ Top, Pursuit of Happiness and Charlie Sexton studio sessions, not one of whom hold notable relevance post-1990. Redeeming themselves somewhat thanks to a Cramps-ish swagger on successive tunes, The Hyena Dog Robbery is still a touch too steeped in new wave essence and overwrought delivery to fully engage listeners. Were these boys to completely embrace their obvious punk tendencies, cut tunes down and shirk the struggle to write something radio-friendly, as well as their affected overconfidence, they could be capable of achieving their goal: writing solid tunes people fawn over. As is, this does little to further their mission of revivalism. (Independent)