Amyl and the Sniffers Deliver at Their Biggest Show to Date
May 20, 2022
Amyl and the Sniffers – Brooklyn Steel – May 19, 2022
Hello and welcome to Sniffers country. Not Australia, the punk band’s provenance. We’re at Brooklyn Steel on a beautiful Thursday night in May. But no matter—it’s Amyl and the Sniffers’ territory now. At first blush, the Melbourne quartet appears to be plucked straight from punk’s earliest era and plopped into 2022. Amy Taylor’s vocals are classic and raw, and Declan Martens’ guitar is relentless, replete with power chords and fast-fingered riffs. But the band has a hardcore edge all their own. They’re simply a thrill and not only deserved their biggest headlining (and sold-out) show but also delivered on it.
The four-piece ripped through song after song off their eponymous 2019 album and their latest LP, last year’s Comfort to Me. Like all good sets of the genre, any pause was less a moment for applause and more like coming up for air. Taylor, platinum blonde and sporting electric-blue hot pants, a bikini top and boots, was pure inertia, keeping the show at the highest key and clearly loving every minute. In past interviews, they’ve said their early writing was expressly for live shows, and Taylor has spoken of her deep love for being onstage. It shows on songs like “Freaks to the Front” and “Security,” both on Comfort. And much of their work is in the tried-and-true fuck-you-I’m-me vein, which makes for some really good shouting on songs like “Choices”: “My choice is my own / My body, my own / My opinion, my own / I own it, I own it.” But there are love songs too. Sort of. “Hertz,” a Comfort track about the breezy euphoria of wanting to road-trip, ends with a rare hint of vulnerability: “I Want you to love me / Do you love me?” Taylor roars.
Amyl and the Sniffers ended the set just before midnight on the barn burner “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled).” “You got a new dog, do you remember me?” Taylor howls. “Woof, woof!” I’m not gonna lie: If you missed this show, you missed a goodie. Given the band’s meteoric rise on just two albums, though, we’re surely in for many more shows to come. And you better be there. —Rachel Brody | @RachelCBrody
(Amyl and the Sniffers play Underground Arts in Philadelphia tomorrow.)
(Amyl and the Sniffers play Rams Head Live! in Baltimore on Sunday.)
(Amyl and the Sniffers play Terminal 5 on 9/23.)
Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | www.adelaloconte.com