📸 : @msjosephin
I’ve heard Amyl described as someone who literally looks like the 70s – if the 70s put on a pair of hot pants and went on a 3-day coke binge you’d be right on the money!
* Please note, this is not a reference to the personal intoxication preferences of Amyl or any of her band mates as I am yet to meet or party with any of these absolute goddesses. What it is though is a very accurate description of the energy that the band brings to their music.
Amyl and the Sniffers issue a much-needed pick me up positivity vibe to the punk scene but not in a sugary sweet cheerleader Dream Nails kind of way – both have their place, but Amyl is not for the light hearted.
Listen to this when you’re walking down the street, going for a sk8 or you’re 5 hours deep in a house clean – whatever you’re doing, this album needs to be listened to in motion.
The band’s debut album kicks off with the hit that will come to be known as their skater boy – ‘I’m not a loser’. With lyrics like ‘my roommate thinks that I am a cunt, but I pay my rent on time every month, I’m not a loser’ & ‘I’m poor, I’m broke but I’m just fine’ the song hits tones of millennial unease with communal living & a disdain for the unfair expectations of a world in global financial meltdown. Pair the apathy of just wanting to get pissed in your kitchen with the energy of the song & you get a very apt understanding of the angst & tenacity that many have had to develop in order to maintain any kind of disposition in an era of uncertainty.
📸 : @bernie
‘My roommate thinks that I am a cunt,
but I pay my rent on time every month,
I’m not a loser’
The band’s potentially accidental political commentary deepens through songs like ‘Blowjobs’ & ‘Westgate’ where Amyl really flips the script on sexism. While the band don’t necessarily play on any gender specific alignment, lines like ‘maybe you’re just not that kind of guy, but I wanna get to know ya’ & ‘if I can’t kiss ya and I can’t fuck ya, then I can’t think about you’ leave us feeling that the future is female fuckbois & we are 100% here for it.
The album has an overall angsty tone, but the songs have enough breadth not to pigeonhole the band as merely female fronted Oi! Punk. Songs like ‘Balaclava Lover Boogie’ drop some peppier riff lines setting the tone for a deeper, more seductive engagement. While ‘Caltex Cowgirl’, a personal favourite is an absolute masterpiece. The equivalent to Bikini Kills ‘Feels Blind’ this song brings you dreary, depressed vocals, mixed with slow, uneasy guitar riffs. Lyrics like ‘coz all I really care about, all I really crave, is just a little less, yeah it’s just a little grave’ & ‘I bit my tongue off, and doesn’t I regret it, there’s something on my mind and I’m wishing that I said it’ are an ode to melancholic break-up moods everywhere. The song takes us to a place we all know well, the void between a break-up & recovery where all you have left is shattered pieces of romantic remnants & words left unsaid.
‘Where you go, I wonna go first,
and where you go I’ll be chasing you right behind the hearse’
Not to worry though! We see an end to Amyls heartache as she sets off for ‘Mandalay’ leaving the past behind her. This song denotes the classic break-up run away – rebalancing the ego after the damage of loss & the empowerment of finding yourself again. The person is still on your mind, but you finally start feeling yourself. Amyl asserts that she doesn’t need to want to look cool, she doesn’t need to feel special & that a better life is ahead of her – I have to say I believe her!
‘Don’t wonna look cool, don’t need to feel special’
Amyl plays Heaven in London on the 2nd of April
And the Haunt in Brighton on the 7th