Amyl and The Sniffers at The Haunt, Brighton, UK – 7th April 2019

Posted by Bianca on Sunday Apr 7, 2019 Under Punk, Rock

Review by Nathan Westley with Photography by Mike Burnell

Ask many people to name a band from Australia and they may struggle to think of more than INXS and Men At Work, but the Australian quartet Amyl and The Sniffers have a glaring opportunity to change that.

Amyl and the Sniffers 2019 pic by Mike Burnell-3121

It would be easy to fall into the trap of labelling Amyl and The Sniffers as being a band purely based on a nostalgic vision of what a punk band should be. Taken on the surface the nature of their songs could cause some to argue that Amyl and The Sniffers are not exactly reinventing the wheel with their choice of three chord and riff heavy angst.

Their mix of Eighties mullet haired metal and stripped back punk rock wouldn’t win any prizes for originality but instead what we should focus on is Amyl and The Sniffers ability to deliver a show that is bursting with both energy and attitude.

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But from the moment that the first chords hit the ears of those present in The Haunt tonight we can tell that this is a band that excels within the live environment. From opener ‘Go Fuck Yourself’ there is an ever present energy that sees the quartet fire through; as mosh pits naturally form at the foot of the stage, and people are induced to head bang their way along.

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The music that Amyl and The Sniffers create is naturally primal. Recent single ‘Monsoon Rock’ might have tight riffs but it is also naturally primitive. At their most poppiest they’re like a highly beefed up version of mid noughties punk band Be Your Own Pet who were known for their tendency of keeping things short and sharp crossed with the furiousness of peak era Gallows. ‘Westgate’ and ‘70’s Street Munchies’ have become staples of their live set are also embossed with the hallmarks of seventies rock and punk attitude. In fact their primitive rock and retro fixation will rub some people up the wrong way, but that is exactly what a true punk band should be doing. Amyl and The Sniffers are much like Marmite; in that they are a band that people will either love or hate.

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But those who fall into the latter category will be missing the fact that Amyl and The Sniffers have all the components that make for a good punk show. For the duration of their set they a near unrivalled capability to transport the audience away from their real life struggles.

Sometimes musical originality needs to take a backseat; and in those moments we should be glad that bands like Amyl and The Sniffers are doing the punk rock thing so well.

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See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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