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Amyl and the Sniffers

Amyl and the Sniffers


Jul 31, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Probably the best pub rock band in the world, Melbourne-born drunk-punks Amyl and the Sniffers have a raw, fun, explosive approach that has served comparable Australians like AC/DC and The Chats, to take from either ends of the spectrum, brilliantly well.

Their two previous EPs (packaged together last year as, simply, Big Attraction & Giddy Up) boasted empowering, amusing anthems like “I’m Not A Loser” and declarations of sexual liberty like “Pleasure Forever.”

Everything here on their self-titled debut album remains pitched at pleasingly breakneck speed and, happily, the gigantic chant-alongs and whisky-sick hooks are here in abundance. Also a new, true idol is formed in the shape of lead vocalist Amy Taylor, a kinetic, Iggy Pop-like fireball of screaming, whirling anger, attitude, and pride.

“You want my interest/I am not impressed,” she shouts on “GFY,” setting out a no bullshit policy that’s as righteous as it is well earned. Most everything is tackled with a cheeky grin, though, and crazed tunes like “Gacked On Anger” come across as strangely friendly despite their frenetic bitterness.

It’s perhaps their sense of silliness that gives unique character to their debut proper; the music could be easily dismissed as dollar store Ramones ‘n’ roll, but the straight ahead, full tilt chug of the band offers a stern contrast to Taylor’s inherent comic nature. “Monsoon Rock” throws a tough rockabilly riff at a double-time vocal containing absolutely desserts of lines like “I’m not gonna sugarcoat it/The Monsoon Rock was happening, and it was fucking lit.”

So, they’re a party band? Well, they’re celebratory, but they’re also self aware, and they observe well. “I like proving people wrong/I like control,” Taylor declares on “Control,” a cousin to “Oh Bondage Up Yours” by X-Ray Spex.

Closer, and lead single, “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)” crudely safety pins a throwaway Clash riff to a frothing, absolutely ferocious “fuck you” from Taylor. “You got a new dog, do you remember me?/She walks around on my old lead,” she spits as Bryce Wilson builds a new shed out of his drums, Declan Martens wrings the neck of his guitar, and bassist Gus Romer valiantly holds it all together as the album explodes and collapses in its final moments.

Positive Punk may be making a return, and rightly so, but Amyl and her crew are doing it funnier, dumber, smarter, and sleazier than any of their peers. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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