Amyl & The Sniffers: Comfort to Me LP
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Amyl and the Sniffers, the Melbourne, Australia rock band fronted by Amy Taylor, deliver their second album, Comfort To Me on ATO Records. It's the follow-up to the band's 2019 self-titled debut album, which won acclaim for its "pure, uncut rock'n'roll fun" (Pitchfork) and its modern update on ‘70s punk – "spiky, wild, provocative, and a little dangerous with a fierce live reputation" (The Fader). Taylor and her bandmates – guitarist Dec Martens, bassist Gus Romer, and drummer Bryce Wilson – wrote Comfort To Me during the pandemic while quarantining in the same house together, spending more time refining the songs than they had previously.
"The nihilistic, live in the moment, positivity and panel beater rock-meets-shed show punk was still there, but it was better," says Taylor. "The whole thing was less spontaneous and more darkly considered. The amount of time and thought I put into the lyrics for this album is completely different from the EPs, and even the first record. Half of the lyrics were written during the Australian bushfire season, when we were already wearing masks to protect ourselves from the smoke in the air. And then when the pandemic hit, our options were the same as everyone: go find a day job and work in intense conditions or sit at home and drown in introspection. I fell into the latter category. I had all this energy inside of me and nowhere to put it, because I couldn't perform, and it had a hectic effect on my brain. My brain evolved and warped and my way of thinking about the world completely changed.
"Having to deal with a lot of authority during 2020 and realising my lack of power made me feel both more self destructive and more self disciplined, more nihilistic and more depressed and more resentful, which ultimately fuelled me with a kind of relentless motivation. I became a temporary monster," she adds. "I partied more, but I also exercised heaps, read books and ate veggies. I was like an egg going into boiling water when this started, gooey and weak but with a hard surface. I came out even harder. I'm still soft on the inside, but in a different way."