Three guys and a girl, mullets, feral noise, and acne. No, this is not a follow-up to that Charged GBH album; these are attributes of the hyped Melbourne punk group Amyl & The Sniffers.
The hype is real, and deservingly so.
Here’s why. In late March at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theatre during a sold-out headliner, the band stomps all over the stage playing their hard-charging pub/punk rock. A young, petite blonde woman appears in a Gucci tank top to the deafening shrieks of people in the room, introduces herself and the song, then instantaneously goes airborne headfirst into the massive circle pit ensuing on the floor.
It was one of those, “Whoa, okay, now I get it.” moments.
Amy Taylor, their profiled singer, commands a crowd’s attention with ease, in part because of her laid-back-yet-unpredictable nature on the stage. You don’t know whether she’s going to address a crowd with subtle curiosity or shift into a human warhead and go straight for your solar plexus; it’s that nature that makes them fun to see. They get an A for performance and an A for their music, too; they’re a band of substance.
They combine the frenzy of 80s hardcore with the booze ‘n’ boogie feel that a grip of their home country brethren left legacies on that put ‘Straya rock ‘n’ roll on the map. Cross reference the songs “Cup of Destiny” and “Control” with the first Rose Tattoo LP, and you’ll understand. That combination got Burger Records and Rough Trade to knock on their door, convinced King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard to bring them to America on tour, and get long time Aussie beer bruisers The Cosmic Psychos to invite them out on the outback road.
All that without a proper album release, and they’ve already accomplished benchmarks such as multiple tours of the U.S., Europe, and Australia on only two EP releases. So, with all this hype already surrounding the four and at the level it’s on, they’d be hard-wired not do disappoint with their first LP.
Good thing they don’t.
This record tears you apart from start to finish, no pretension at all. The songwriting is consistent with material on the raw form Giddy Up EP and the explosive Big Attraction EP release, only with a step up of production quality. A big takeaway too is they can make an entrance, both on stage and on this record (the former you’ll check for yourself, trust me).
The album opens up with “Starfire 500,” an explosive, boogie-rock instrumental for the first 1:45 before Taylor’s shrill kicks in and overpowers guitarist Dec Martens and everyone else recorded. Her energy translates from her onstage antics to her vocals in good fashion, as she sounds manic and rage-fueled on cuts as “Gacked on Anger” and “GFY” to her feminine sweet and tender side on the solemn cut, “Angel” and “Got You.”
Ninety percent of the album is straight-up punk rock bangers, but “Angel” displays the most melodic side of the quartet as well as a vulnerable side of being taken for granted by a significant other (“I Love You So Much/But Your Love Is Too Tough/I Wanna Be Your Little Angel/But Your Little Angel Just Ain’t Enough”). “Got You” in particular could be the anthem off this LP as Taylor addresses her feelings towards her directed love while her boys shout her desired outcome (“I Don’t Care About The Things I Have – I GOT YOU/I Don’t Want Anybody Else – I GOT YOU/Walk In The Room & I Start Blushing – I GOT YOU/I Got A Lot But This Feels Like Something – I GOT YOU”).
Since this is a punk rock band, there are some nuts in the grindier numbers such as the Motorhead-esque “Punisha” and the statement (figuratively speaking) making “Some Mutts Can’t Be Muzzled.”
Amyl & The Sniffers. They’re not here to fuck spiders; get with it.