Amyl and the Sniffers
Comfort To Me


3.5
great

Review

by lz41 USER (50 Reviews)
September 17th, 2021 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist


Melbourne four-piece garage band Amyl and the Sniffers made their bones in the middle of the last decade with an angular, unlettered style of punk that fitted the local circuit hand in glove. Straddling the line between endearing and obnoxious, the quartet is fronted by Amy Taylor with the trio of guitarist Dec Martens, bassist Fergus Romer and drummer Bryce Wilson as backing band.

As a correspondent from down under, if I was to offer my international audience a comparison point for Amyl and the Sniffers, it would be the Pogues. This is not just on account of their brashly organic sound and open affection for recreational substances but for the trash-as-community spirit that Taylor, Martens, Romer and Wilson have made the essence of their being.

Melody Maker’s Simon Reynolds once described the Pogues as a band “in the gutter, looking up at the gutter”, noting that the common thread amongst the fans at their concerts was a jadedness of contemporary music and a yearning to be connected once again to the real, exciting experience of a band in full-flight at eye level.

The Sniffers let their freak flag fly on their newly released second album Comfort to Me, solidifying everything that had brought the people to the band while expanding their repertoire beyond novelty act perceptions.

The sweaty, gurning mosh of ‘Freaks to the Front’ is the new Amyl anthem to sit on par with the volcanic frustration of ‘Gacked on Anger’ from the band’s 2019 self-titled debut LP. It isn’t alone for relatable humour, giving way to ‘Security’, Taylor’s first-hand lament about being an ugly chick who can’t bat her eyelashes past a bouncer.

That’s just the fun stuff we expected, though. What makes Comfort to Me such an engaging album – and elevates them above bad-joke imitations like The Chats – is that the hipster-bogan act is merely the launching point for the music. Is it played up for an easy laugh? Sure. The Ozzie drongo stereotyping of ‘Snakes’ and the irreverent cussing that derails the chorus of lead-off single ‘Guided by Angels’ will roll eyes. However, the most pertinent takeaway from the Sniffers’ sophomore is that the band is not resting on its easy wins.

‘Capital’ is an indiscriminate spray against the federal government. Taylor’s screech pivots between climate change inaction, misogyny, government corruption, changing the date of Australia Day, burning the Union Jack and… sorry, what? Does she stop to expand upon them? Well, no. It’s all just a scanning lament. Which is the point, after all: when you’re “swimming in the river/Part of the river/Not convinced how much will change”, it’s hard to latch onto one issue before the torrent buffets you into the path of another agony.

Taylor slows down her focus on contemporary feminism and the haunting of a patriarchy becoming ever more insidious at disguising its evils on ‘Laughing’ and ‘Knifey’. The former is an angry bite at the expectations and judgments that come hand in hand with being a woman (“I am still a smart girl if I'm dressing slutty/And I am still a smart girl when I earn my money/I am still a good girl when I'm on the telly/I am still a good girl don't you farking tell me”) while the latter forms a clasp of solidarity with fellow Melbourne songwriter Courtney Barnett’s ‘Nameless Faceless’ (2018). Barnett’s song about the fear and danger felt by women walking home at night became a musical touchstone of women’s rights in Melbourne when comedian Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered in Princes Park just weeks after the song’s release. When Taylor took her turn, she echoed the feeling of being powerless and vulnerable to the monsters of the night but spun the conclusion into a revenge fantasy in which her protagonist overcomes her attacker.

And her band is growing its sound around her. Although Taylor told Apple Music upon the album’s release that the Sniffers “probably have more skills playing live than we do making music”, the riffs of Martens and Romer are at time startlingly assertive. ‘Laughing’, ‘Knifey’ and ‘No More Tears’ are pure grunge era Sub-Pop.

“I feel like, as a band, everyone thinks we’re just funny all the time. And we are funny and I love to laugh, but we also are full-spectrum humans who think about serious stuff as well, and I like that one because it’s kind of cryptic and poetic and a bit more dense,” Taylor said to Apple Music. “It’s not just, like, ‘Yee-haw, let’s punch a wall’, which there’s plenty of and I also really love. We’re showing our range a little bit.”



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user ratings (87)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
parksungjoon
September 18th 2021


47231 Comments


cool cover

SlothcoreSam
September 18th 2021


6195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review and If they don't like you as you are

Just ignore the cunt.

zakalwe
September 18th 2021


38804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Absolutely love this album. Fucking amazing stuff.

pengui
September 18th 2021


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As an Aussie I’ll admit I really hadn’t heard this band before. Apparently getting some mainstream success, it’s a great formula for sure. Vocalist has a mad Aussie bogan stage presence would be great love and some right musicianship from the band. It’s good to hear something out of the box.

botulist
September 19th 2021


751 Comments


fun live band. one of my last shows before the pandemic.

zakalwe
September 21st 2021


38804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The only band worth a stuff at the minute

RichRamp
September 21st 2021


78 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very enjoyable

brandontaylor
September 23rd 2021


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great band, glad to see the increased attention they've gotten with this album. i think it's slightly below the quality of their debut, but 'knifey' is probably their best track to date

dedex
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2021


12775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

ayyyeah

Kiran
Emeritus
September 23rd 2021


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dope

SharkTooth
September 27th 2021


14921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

discovered this group on spotify, lovin this album so far

WatchItExplode
September 27th 2021


10450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is like the Sounds with balls

DoofDoof
September 27th 2021


14975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

‘bad joke imitations like The Chats’



Yes, that band are worthless - this is a different league



‘Capital’ my favourite here

SlothcoreSam
September 30th 2021


6195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

THE NEW ALBUM "COMFORT TO ME", PLAYED IN FULL, IN ONE TAKE, ON A SLAB OF CONCRETE IN A SUBURBAN WASTELAND SOMEWHERE IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.



https://www.amylandthesniffers.com/

zakalwe
October 8th 2021


38804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Go on Girl

SlothcoreSam
October 11th 2021


6195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Out comes the night, out comes my knifey

This is how I get home nightly

conesmoke
November 24th 2021


7875 Comments


Let me in your bum!
Or pub

dedex
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2021


12775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

SECURITY WILL YOU LET ME IN YOUR PUB

IM NOT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

IM LOOKING FOR LOVE

zakalwe
December 9th 2021


38804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You’re in love.

dedex
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2021


12775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

no, you're in love



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