Release Date: May 24, 2019
Record label: ATO
The Melbourne gang make "pub punk" destined for the biggest of stages. With the producer of Arctic Monkeys' 'AM' behind them, this is snotty punk at its peak Move fast, be bold and trust your instincts - if there was a mission statement for Amyl and The Sniffers' bruising and brilliant debut album, we suspect it'd be along those lines. Or, more likely, they'd tell you to piss off and not overthink things - it's just a bit fun.
With an energy befitting a tiny tornado, Australian punk crew Amyl and the Sniffers deliver a series of punches to the jaw with their rollicking self-titled debut. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes, Amyl and the Sniffers is an absolute thrill, the ideal soundtrack to a sweat-and-beer-covered bar brawl. Here, black eyes and bruises are a welcome trade for the fun and complete abandon within, which owes much to the band's electrifying vocalist, Amy Taylor.
Amyl and the Sniffers have left a trail of destruction in their wake over the past year. Off the back of two EPs they've been catapulted onto a seemingly never-ending world tour that's seen them tear up the UK, Europe, and America multiple times. Amid all the chaos, somehow the Aussies managed to fit in the recording of their debut album. If fast-and-hard punk is the order of the day then Amyl and the Sniffers are full of it.
Declan Martens's guitar bites and lashes, Gus Romer's bass rumbles and quakes, and Bryce Wilson's drums smash and pummel. And once Amy Taylor enters the fray, with her sneering, barbed baying, the intimidation factor goes through the roof. It's a blistering, raw, commanding introduction to Melbourne's latest export in a long line of exciting new bands.
It's entirely justified to find Amyl and the Sniffers annoying just on the basis that the Melbourne punk quartet romanticizes the dirtbag 1970s to a degree that's cartoonish. Too young to have experienced Dookie firsthand, let alone Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Amyl and the Sniffers are blessed by the callous disregard of youth, adopting ratty mullets and tacky high-waisted jeans as gleefully as they swipe riffs from the Damned and the Stooges. The blatant rips are the point: Irked by dead-end jobs and digital chaos, they're seeking refuge in the past.
Amyl and the Sniffers know exactly what they're doing. Sure, the Australian group's quicksilver concerts lust towards chaos, but just when it nudges up to the moment of collapse Amy Taylor will whip her microphone back into place and lead the group into a nailed on piece of troglodyte boogie. A series of electrifying live shows brought the Melbourne band to these shores last year, accompanied by a needle-to-the-red collection of what were essentially demos on Damaged Goods.