Rock and roll needs a band to step up every once in a while and stir things up. To show people that rock and roll can be reckless. A band that takes the bare essence of rock music, and give it a sense of urgency. Its energy.
A type of band that really couldn’t care less about what trendy silliness is surrounding it. A type of band that is a littler dangerous. That is a little crass and use foul language in mixed company. A style of music that hipsters, and people that want to influence the music you listen to, or consume, that a certain sound is dead and buried and needs to be pushed aside and something less offensive would be better for all parties.
They’re wrong. Of course.
On September 10th Amyl and the Sniffers will prove without a shadow of doubt that real rock and roll, the music that your parents used to hate is alive and well and waiting to explode in your ears. The band will be releasing their sophomore record called Comfort To Me on ATO Records/Rough Trade and all the safe pop music that goes masquerading as rock will run home crying to their collective mothers.
The Melbourne, Australia rock band fronted by Amy Taylor and rounded out by guitarist Dec Martens, bassist Gus Romer, and drummer Bryce Wilson. The band, much like everyone else during this trying time, used their time during the pandemic to harness their collective energy and pour all of it item the recording. As Taylor explains, “After the Bushfire season, and when the pandemic hit, our options were the same as everyone: go find a day job and work in intense conditions or sit at home and drown in introspection. I fell into the latter category. I had all this energy inside of me and nowhere to put it, because I couldn’t perform, and it had a hectic effect on my brain.”
The proof is in the songs. High energy punk rock and roll that never lets up. Opening track “Guided by Angels” kicks thing off with a cool bass riff followed by a surf type spaghetti western guitar lick, and then things really heat up. The song seem to be about having energy, and energy to spare. With Amy Taylor belting out vocals that sound like she’s half singing and half shouting her conviction at you.
“Freaks to the Freaks” picks the proceedings up a notch with Taylor flying her freak flag without having a care in the world what people think about her. Fast and mean
“Choices” has a pounding throbbing groove all over it, and then goes into an old school punk chaos. The lyrics have Taylor shouting about her choices are her own, and she can do whatever she wants with them. This music is sinister. In all the best possible ways.
My choice my own /My voice my own /My body my own/I own it I own it
The lyrics are sincere and real. This is a powerful message today particularly coming from a woman with all the insanity going on during these turbulent times.
The band is relentless, and the energy (I know I’ve used this word too many times, but if you listen to the album, you’ll agree that energy sums them up best), keeps coming and coming. So much so that this record will leave you absolutely breathless by the time it’s over.
The closest that the band gets to mid tempo is a tender tune called “Knifey.” I’m not too sure what this song is about, but it seems to be about a woman, or group of people that don’t fit in to what society wants, and they’re sick of all the abuse, and take matters into their own out hands, and out come the knife. This band is not for the delicate of heart. And that’s a great thing.
I’m not going to try to dissect every song here or explain what the lyrics are about, because I’ll probably be wrong. All you need to know about this band is…they don’t pull their punches.
Great riffs, great rhythm section, and a great guitar player that actually plays a solo or two if he feels the song requires one. The band reminds me of the early eighty L.A. punk band Avengers, but that might be because I was listening to them a few weeks ago. The Avengers were a pissed off band fronted with a woman singer that was tired of taking people’s B.S.
Amyl and the Sniffers are like that too. Refreshing to hear a female fronted band that’s a little pissed off, and not going to take any nonsense anymore. The world needs strong woman in music that are going to do more than complain about their ex-boyfriend moving on with his life without her. Even if you don’t dig the message, and if you don’t, you’re wrong, just get off on the powerful high octane music. Turn this up to eleven and dance and mosh like your life depends on it. Come to think of it, it just might.
Article: Carmine Basilicata