For the amount of notoriety Amyl and the Sniffers have gained over the last couple of years, it’s hard to believe they’re only just dropping their first album.
Amyl’s new self-titled LP shows big steps forward in instrumentation, songwriting and production, and sidesteps the pitfall of punk bands becoming too ‘polished’ as they get popular, delivering a manic punch of unhinged, gritty energy.
The massive instrumental intro to Starfire 500 kicks off the album: the heavy, highway drivin’ kind of riffs in show off a step forward in shred-ability for the band, with the vocals kicking off halfway through with one of the catchiest hooks on the album.
‘Gacked On Anger’ and ‘GFY’ are Amyl on their home turf; short, sharp and angry, with a healthy dose of bogan lingo in the hooks. It’s what they do, and they do it good.
In between those two tracks is ‘Cup Of Destiny’: lyrically, it’s an awesome summation of where this band must be in life at the moment, ‘takin’ the right path,’ going from strength to strength over the last couple of years.
They slow down about half a bpm for a lover’s lament on ‘Angel’, then speed right back up again for ‘Monsoon Rock’. For me, ‘Monsoon Rock’ is a little bit of a weak point on the album. To me, Amy’s singing feels like it’s struggling just a bit to keep up with the pace of the music and takes away from the intensity that’s normally in her voice on these quick-hitting kinds of tracks. They bring it back though, with ‘Got You’ and ‘Punisha’ being two tracks of the group at their absolute best.
The album ends on ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’. This track seems like it could be a perfect advertisement for the band as a whole, full of unpolished anger, tongue-in-cheek sneer, and just fuckin’ rocks. Coming in at 4.23 also makes this the Mankiewicz’s ‘Cleopatra’ of this bands repertoire, being the longest track that they’ve ever put out.
Amyl and The Sniffers self-titled LP is an awesome listen for anyone into gritty punk goodness, but if you’re into it, make sure you see them live. This music is best enjoyed in a pub somewhere getting pushed around with sweat and beer all over your shirt, and the manic energy these guys bring to the stage is completely mental.
Rough Trade Records
Reviewed by Liam McNally