Their first recordings were 'Spit It Out' and 'Too Hot Blues', released as digital downloads via bandcamp. These quickly found their way onto student radio playlists and the band found they had an audience.
They followed this up with a 7-inch titled The Way To A Mans Heart Is Through His Chest (on Knife Sword Machete Records), and a live bootleg CD.
In 2012, after impressing Swiss icon Reverend Beat-Man with their live show, they released a 7-inch, titled 'I Put A Spell On You', and a full length album Living In Hell on vinyl and CD on his cult label Voodoo Rhythm Records. Living In Hell reviewed very well locally and internationally, and was selected by The NZ Listener as one of the Top 20 albums of 2012.
Lydia Jenkins wrote in The NZ Herald, "you'd be hard-pushed to find a better harmonica player than Karl Steven in our fair country - not only does he have the technical chops, but also a melodicism that's as expressive as any vocalist, and a soulful groove that could have come straight out of the southern States."
Heart Attack Alley have extensively toured New Zealand and Europe. They have also opened for Wanda Jackson, BB King and Kitty, Daisy and Louis. In Auckland and Wellington they regularly appeared live at The Lucha Lounge and Mighty Mighty Bar respectively.
On 9 October, 2012 Heart Attack Alley recorded a live session for Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6 Music.
Outside of Heart Attack Alley, Stevens and Macfehin are members of The Drab Doo Riffs. Gallager also plays in The Vietnam War and Las Tetas. Karl Steven is a founding member of funk rock band Supergroove. He also completed a PhD in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy at Cambridge University.
In late 2012 Heart Attack Alley went on indefinite hiatus.
Karl Steven completed a PhD in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy at Cambridge University.
Heart Attack Alley recorded their album Living In Hell in Italy at Inside Outside studios, a specialist analog recording studio where regular pasta consumption is part of the creative process.
Reverend Beat-Man contacted them about signing to Voodoo Rhythm Records via Facebook after seeing them play in Auckland.
They started out jamming on the outside porches of their houses because both Steven and Gallager had small children and they didn't want to wake them up while practicing.
Steven started playing stomp box after putting one together for a solo performance.
Knife Sword Machette Records
Voodoo Rhythm Records
Kristal Gallager - guitar
Caoimhe Macfehin - vocals