The rowdy and raucous Australian pub punks Amyl and the Sniffers are back with their sophomore album 'Comfort To Me' (fuckin’ oath!), and it perfectly demonstrates what a sophomore record should be.
Following their heavy and unique 2019 self-titled debut, Amyl and the Sniffers gracefully build upon the foundations set with their debut. The band don’t lose their unique, gnarly and pure Australian punk sound, but they also add whole new layers of sonic dimensions never seen before with the punk-rockers.
Amyl and the Sniffers spent the majority of 2020 “enclosed by pandemic authority” in the city of Melbourne. In the small windows of freedom Australians were given between each of their national lockdowns, Amy Taylor and her fellow Sniffers tireless grind in their rehearsal space to birth 'Comfort To Me'.
Lyrically, the record is a huge step up from the debut – with tracks like the opener ‘Guided By Angels’, the outrageous ‘Security’ and the sombre ‘Knifey’ demonstrating the improvements made by wild frontwoman Amy Taylor. ‘Knifey’ is undoubtedly the strongest lyrically – a track documenting the everyday struggles of women merely walking home at night with “All I ever wanted was to walk by the park / all I ever wanted was to walk by the river / see the stars.” The band have created extremely topical tracks that need creating but do so with their untouchable punk attitude.
The Australian punks have the quality that all great bands should: having a sound that makes the band immediately recognisable upon listening. This continues on 'Comfort To Me', but it still feels sonically fresh. Some tracks don’t have as much of the soaring and tireless energy they’re best known for, but they still undeniably sound like The Sniffers.
It’s clear that this was achieved by the band having a wider pool of influences, most notably some from classic rock, hardcore and steady Australian heroes. For a band to take in more influence yet keep their uniquely spellbinding sound is impressive.
Amyl and the Sniffers are truly an enigma of a band. Their outrageous pub punk energy seems like it will always shine through, but the band are effectively building and complexifying their sound to keep things fresh. 'Comfort To Me' sounds like it could be played in a rowdy Australian pub the band are used to – or a colossal arena.
Words: Kieran Macadie
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