Album review: Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort To Me

Melbourne mayhemists Amyl & The Sniffers return with a whip-crack of a second album, Comfort To Me.

Album review: Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort To Me
Ian Winwood

Comfort To Me is an album born of a disease. With Australia taking a militant approach to the global pandemic, Amyl & The Sniffers were required to abstain from the road and concentrate instead on honing their craft as musicians, songwriters and arrangers. The results can be heard on their fine and surprisingly progressive second album, Comfort To Me.

The timing couldn’t be better, either. The froth and fury of their self-titled debut, from 2019, was both a thing to behold and the kind of thing that can only be done once. After that it’s a case of, ‘Okay, we’ve had enough. What else can you show us?’ Glad you asked, because here, on Comfort To Me, the band are able to show us plenty.

'I want to go see the country, I want to get out of here,' sings Amy Taylor on the propulsive Hertz, a song whose lyric neatly encapsulates the group’s desire for something new. On tracks such as this, and on No More Tears, Knifey ('All I ever wanted was to walk by the river, see the stars') and the taut Snakes ('I submit to change… shed my skin just like a snake') the group display a much more patient and far less hurried side to their nature. They have more than enough talent to pull this off. Not just this, but it suits them to a tee.

Elsewhere, Amyl are up to their old tricks with songs that clock out before the two-minute mark. But even here, the writing and delivery is improved; less a wrecking ball and more a surgeon’s scalpel. At its wildest its pleasingly aggravating fare, with Amy singing not so much with the band as right on top of it. She has something to say – about love and life, and about freedom and the yearning for just that bit more of it – and the musicians have enough muscle and swerve to back her all the way.

Two years ago, the Australians’ music was a simple trick done very well. Now there’s much more to them. Forget the sophomore slump, Comfort To Me is the sound of a band on the rise.

Verdict: 5/5

For fans of: The Chats, IDLES, Skegss

Comfort To Me is released on September 10 via Rough Trade

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