26 September 2023

Comfort To Me

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Amyl and The Sniffers, B2B Records 2021.

Amyl and The Sniffers are a Melbourne based garage/punk band that exploded onto the scene in 2018 when they signed with Rough Trade Records and ATO Records after being lauded as one of the hottest bands at The Great Escape 2018.

They formed back in 2016 as share house members and they wrote, recorded, and up-loaded their first EP Giddy Up, in the space of 12 hours.

They followed that effort with the Big Attraction EP which was released in 2017 and featured the song I’m Not A Loser which received some airtime.

Their self-titled debut album was written and recorded in between back-to-back tours and it won an ARIA Award for Best Rock Album of 2019.

The band’s latest effort, Comfort me, was written in 2020 while in lockdown and produced by Dan Luscombe.

It’s an absolute cracker of an album exuding oodles of punkish energy and greatly improved musicianship than that displayed on their earlier EPs.

It’s even a step up on their ARIA winning first album.

What the two years of constant touring prior to COVID lockdown provided for Amyl and The Sniffers was ample opportunity to play together.

So naturally when they were forced into lockdown, and a three-bedroom shared house, and started writing songs for their new album they quickly discovered that they had an over abundance of material and that the quality was much higher.

Amy Taylor has also greatly matured as a lyric writer, she acknowledges that the amount of time she put into the lyrics is completely different from her earlier work where speed was of the essence, indeed more of an overriding necessity, than quality.

Amy comments about the lyrics for Comfort Me in the following way: “I pushed myself heaps and heaps because there were things that I needed to say.

“Having to deal with a lot of authority during 2020 and realising my lack of power made me feel both more self-destructive and more self-disciplined, more nihilistic and more depressed, and more resentful, which ultimately fuelled me with a kind of restless motivation.”

Although Comfort Me is less spontaneous than Amyl and The Sniffers’ earlier work, I believe that the extra focus that time has given to the songs has resulted in 13 fantastic high energy tracks that are a class above anything they’ve done up to this point in their career.

Comfort Me is a really good album so, if you’re in need of an energy kick to shake you out of the lethargy that lockdown brings, check it out.

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