Underneath this sweaty exterior came some genuinely engaging and electrifying performances. Their self-titled in 2019 was a record that showed a progression that eventually leads us now into Comfort To Me.
Released following a writing session through the shitshow of a pandemic, canceled tour dates, impossible ideas coming to fruition, and now a revival of live music in a physical setting. Where Amyl And The Sniffers truly thrive are in that compact room where the space seems to be far overcapacity. Comfort To Me is that soundtrack of breaking out of isolation, moving to a new mental space, and beginning to slide back into a different form of uncomfortably.
The introduction from the single “Guided By Angels” is this perfect blend of garage rock with a fantastic groove section of bass from Gus Romer and percussion by Bryce Wilson. Then with guitar that has a sheen and clean feeling, soon turns dirty as Declan Mehrtens starts the engine.
Following as one of the more charismatic leads of a band, vocalist Amy Taylor shouts, howls, and eagerly gets inches away from the audience’s face here. An advantage that is impossible to ignore, her personality both on the record and stage is iconic and is reminiscent of everything a punk rock band needs.
“Guided By Angels” carries this bass and percussive groove throughout the track. Taylor uses her high-pitched screeches to describe, “Guided by angels, but they’re not heavenly. They’re on my body and they guide me heavenly.” While the instrumentation continues to blitz and is a kerosene fire of energy, Taylor continues on to illustrate, “energy, good energy, and bad energy. I’ve got plenty of energy. It’s my currency.”
Her extremely Australian delivery is immediately recognizable, especially on “Security” where the chorus describes, “Security will you let me in your pub? I’m not looking for trouble, I’m looking for love.” The instrumentation becomes simple; a not entirely surprising trade but this style is a little more straightforward. The surprise comes from the cute riff on the guitar that swings almost as if it was an 80s pop-rock hit that scrapes down an octave and becomes a low-tuned cascade.
Comfort To Me is fairly easy to love and fall into. There isn’t much in the case of being surprising, but what Amyl And The Sniffers do is create a space where writing and creation can flow to be a solid, memorable meal.