I am not sure there is a world in which I would not love the new sophomore record, Comfort To Me, from Amyl And The Sniffers. The Australian quartet, led by the fierce Amy Taylor, has harnessed all of their pent up pandemic energy from 2020 and channeled it into these 13 songs of kick ass now and take names later! Compared to their excellent 2019 self-titled debut, you will hear how the time spent staring at four walls together moved away from “lets capture that energy on tape now” to putting forth a very focused and calculating Sniffers album from the opening to close.
It all kicks off with a rhythmic pulsating guitar in “Guided By Angels” that then has Taylor bursting out her sneer vocal delivery like a swaying Iggy Pop. The band then doubles down on the guitar rock as the song has controlled bursts of energy that contain riffs that will crack plaster on your ceiling. This blistering in your face style of music keeps coming in waves on Comfort To Me that always feels like it can be turned up one more notch. It is a punk forward album that now has more driving post-punk moments that simmer and bounce on songs like “Hertz” and “Knifey.” You also have the lyrics that are raw and address the chaos in the world we live in but with a straightforward confidence that screams don’t fuck with me.
Comfort To Me will be one of the most heavy rock albums you will hear this year. It never slows down and it is better because of it. I mean, Amy Tayor has a braidable mullet for chrissake and honestly is an intimidating force that gives this band a cutting edge attitude that not many current acts can match. When you combine this with the gritty self-taught musicianship then add the help of mixer Nick Launay (Nick Cave, IDLES, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and mastering by Bernie Grundman (Prince, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, OutKast), you get an album that has perfect balance and is ready to go on every note. It would have been easy for Amyl And The Sniffers to stumble here but the band avoids the sophomore slump with ease and has given us a record to end out the summer days with the windows down. Long Live Rock!
Key Tracks: “Guided By Angels” / “Hertz” / “No More Tears”
Artists With Similar Fire: The Stooges / Idles / Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Amyl And The Sniffers Review History: Amyl And The Sniffers (2019)
– Reviewed by Thomas Wilde