Amyl and The Sniffers – ‘Amyl and The Sniffers’ review

The Melbourne gang make "pub punk" destined for the biggest of stages. With the producer of Arctic Monkeys' 'AM' behind them, this is snotty punk at its peak

Move fast, be bold and trust your instincts – if there was a mission statement for Amyl and The Sniffers’ bruising and brilliant debut album, we suspect it’d be along those lines. Or, more likely, they’d tell you to piss off and not overthink things – it’s just a bit fun.

That’s been their operating speed for the last two years, since their debut EP ‘Giddy Up’ was released on Bandcamp in 2016. Recorded in the band’s house in Melbourne within 12 hours, and clocking in at just over five minutes, it’s a breathtaking listen to down your drink to, grab your mates and barge your way down the front. ‘Big Attraction’ was like that, too, although it was expanded in terms of running time (12 minutes, this time) and songwriting craft. ‘Balaclava Lover Boogie’ and the doomy ‘70s Street Munchies’ are proof of that snotty spirit at its peak.

READ MORE: The Big Read – Amyl and The Sniffers: “It’s rough, raw and anything can happen”

If ain’t broke, don’t fix it, we suppose. But there are slight deviations to the method behind this slab of madness. This time, they decamped to Sheffield to work with Ross Orton, whose credits include MIA’s 2005 debut ‘Arular’ and Arctic Monkeys’ international hit ‘AM’. They worked at a similar pace, but with the luxury of a deft hand and a proper studio behind them, these songs are obnoxiously loud. ‘Punisha’ might as well include field recordings from the centre of the pit and ‘GFY’ is a modern punk rock anthem.

TLoud and aggressive, for sure, but it’s singer Amy Taylor’s insightful yet chant-worthy lyrics that make this more than just a ear-bleeding exercising. ‘Angel’ is a sweet love song caught up in a whirlwind of sound (“I’m shaking, I can’t take it, bent over back all day waiting for you”), while ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’ is defiant and empowering, while retaining the stickiness of the rough carpets of the pubs they frequent.

It’s “pub-punk” for now, but there’s a good chance it’ll take them to much bigger stages sooner rather than later. It’s not big, it’s not clever, but it’s a bloody hoot.