Amyl and The Sniffers’ self-titled 2019 debut was recorded in bursts between a hectic touring schedule and trips to the pub. The result was punk, drunk, and relatively un-thunk; a breakneck document of four young Australians yelling “fuck no” at the status quo. As beguiling as it was belligerent (and whether they knew it or not), the record was their argument for consideration as the most exhilarating punk rock band on planet earth. And it was a convincing one.
But here we find them a little older, a little wiser, and having had a little more time to hone their craft. Thanks to being stuck in Melbourne’s strict stage-four lockdown through a large part of 2020, Amy Taylor (vocals), Declan Martens (guitar), Gus Romer (bass) and Bryce Wilson (drums) were able to put Comfort to Me together at their own pace.
Largely rehearsed inside a rented National Storage locker in Melbourne, the 13-track album is a rejection of comfort of any kind. Because where the band could have continued to cash in on the whole “pub punks” gambit, they instead opted to be more.
The tone is set by opener “Guided by Angels”: a dark and potent punk-rock hymn that swaps yearning for a pint for yearning introspection. “Capital” is a sonic attack on the backwards bits of mainstream Australia, while “Don’t Fence Me In” is a middle finger to being boxed in (there are still a couple of trips to the pub too).
If there’s a theme here, it’s a flat-out refusal to stay what they are. Taylor’s lyrics are tighter, the compositions are smarter, and the ideas are bigger: Comfort To Me is the sound of a young band realising it has more, much more, to give.
Amyl and The Sniffers’ Comfort to Me is out now via B2B Records.
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