Amyl and the Sniffers
O.K. lets speak about the Elephant in the Room. The Little fella in the School Uniform and his band have cast a huge shadow over Australian Rock for as long as anyone can remember, It seemed every rock band emerging from down under was almost a tribute band (Yes Airborne I'm talking about you)
I know there was and is an amazing amount of excellent psych bands but honest to goodness rock bands....far a few between
So I whooped for joy when Amyl ad the Sniffers appeared on my radar. housemates who started band, wrote and recorded first e.p. Giddy Up within 12 hours. This was true spirit of Punk D.I.Y. ethic. The music was a gut punch of energy and in Amy Taylor they have a totally fearless singer who's lyrics displayed a raw honesty rarely heard in contemporary rock music. Better still She sang in their own accent. All of this endeared them to me instantly. The second e.p. Big Attraction was even better featuring instant classic I'm not a loser. )Check out live footage of this on youtube for evidence of how great a track this is)
after touring with countrymen King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizzard and high profile support slots with The Foo Fighters they have signed to Rough Trade and released self titled album.
First thing that strikes me is how improved and expanded the music is. The punk spirit is there but there is a lot more being added to mix now . first track Starfire 500 opens with guitar solo and its half way through song before vocals arrive. At 3.36 is almost a prog epic by their standards.
Its with second track Gacked on Anger that I was floored. The opening riff screamed Rose Tattoo on speed but its the lyrics and delivery that is nothing short of a revelation. Lyrics like "I'm working of my arse every single day/For the minimum wage/and I don't get paid/I don't have a house/I can't pay the rent" or " I want to help out/The People on the Street/But how can I help Them/When I can't afford to eat" In a post Trump/Brexit World This is a working class rebel song that gives a voice to any one who has struggled or worked in shit, low paying job can relate to. An call to arms. delivered in less than the time it takes most bands to tune up.
The energy level barely lets up from that point on. Cup of Destiny gallops along at breathless pace GFY is hardcore punk to its core and ups the tempo even more. The opening four songs leave you exhausted so they step of the accelerator for Angel the closet thing to a ballad on the album but in their own way. Its still as tough as nails and unsentimental.
It's back to beating you in to submission with two punch combo Monsoon Rock and Control, They change direction again with the most commercial track to date Got You. I hear sprinkles of both the Runaways and U.K. 70's Glam which is a really good thing. It will have crowds singing live.
Punisha hits hard but feels a bit like filler which is a good strike rate on album packed with killer tracks. Shake Ya is another sing along, floor filler that will do exactly what it says on the tin.
The last track is longest and has a great title. Some Mutts (Can't Be Muzzled) is the monster track here. The Damned delivered through prism of Moot the Hoople at their wildest. This has already been released as a 7 inch and instantly sold out. Which lets you know how great it is.
This is Street music, high voltage rock 'n' roll, punk to its core but the improved musicianship has allowed them to expand pallet beyond those roots. The Delivery and songs here pack enough punch to knock out a heavy weight champ and enough energy to power the national grid.
As much as this is a band effort the star of the show is Amy Taylor. A more dynamic, wild honest singer as you could hope for. Her lyrics hold up a mirror to the life most people live, the struggles, the laughs, the reality of holding it together with spit and glue in an increasingly hard society, as opposed to the everything is wonderful, lets party Instagram/Twitter bland, mediocre world of most pop music.
Underdogs they may be but every Dog has its day. For these Mutts that day has arrived