Donning mullets and embracing the dirtbag side of punk, Amyl & The Sniffers burst onto Australia’s underground with their 2016 EP Giddy Up. Three years of batting around the bush and single releases—including the kick ass Cup Of Destiny single—culminated in 2019’s debut self-titled record.
In theory, the band and their debut shouldn’t rule as much as they do. I mean, on first glance it’s easy to write them off as just another 70s rock revival group, but the energy, ferocity, and Amy Taylor’s snarky vocals somehow combine to make something so fresh and so fun you can’t possibly turn it down.
Comfort To Me is really a continuation of where the band left off. The opening track “Guided By Angels” is a thumping anthem that leans heavily on post-punk. The song stays on the cusp of a noisy explosion throughout its runtime, followed quickly by “Freaks To The Front,” an intensely hardcore song that wouldn’t feel out of place on an early Black Flag release.
From there on out, it’s a fast-paced whirlwind blend of hardcore, post-punk, noise, and Motorhead-esque speed that lead this record to it’s finish. The track “Hertz” is the most danceable of the bunch, almost funky at times. “Don’t Need A Cunt (Live You To Love Me)” is the most raucous, only spanning a minute and half. It’s a show of completely primal energy and totally unrestrained chaos.
Unsurprisingly, Taylor’s vocal performance is blistering, full of attitude, and without question the highlight of this record. Where I think this record really pushes the band is through Taylor’s lyrics. “Knifey” displays one of the best verses on the record: “All I ever wanted was to walk by the park / All I ever wanted was to walk by the river, see the stars / Please stop fucking me up / Out comes the knife / Out comes my knifey / This is how we get home nightly.”
If you’re looking for a record that’s pushing boundaries, being innovative, or blazing trails, this certainly isn’t it. That being said you will be hard-pressed to find a band that can match this kind of energy for the foreseeable future. This record is just too much fun to pass up, so if you’ve got any brains at all, don’t sleep on it!
Comfort To Me is out on Rough Trade.