Amyl and the Sniffers - Big Attraction/Giddy Up - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Amyl and the Sniffers - Big Attraction/Giddy Up

by Jim Cunnar Rating:9 Release Date:2018-02-16
Amyl and the Sniffers - Big Attraction/Giddy Up
Amyl and the Sniffers - Big Attraction/Giddy Up

Punk rock requires a few basic ingredients. First, you need a great name. The Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Wire, Hūsker Dū - all epic names. Second, you need to have style. The Ramones had their leather jackets, The New York Dolls had their make-up and The Sex Pistols had their safety pins.  Third, your songs should be radio friendly, if it wasn’t for their light-speed pace and blistering hooks.  Blitzkrieg Bop clocks in at barely two minutes, and live versions are more like a minute thirty. And lastly, punk has to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek.  The Replacements “Gary's Got A Boner” and "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" aren't deep anthems, that's for sure. 

Australia’s Amyl and the Sniffers hits each of those criteria spot-on, and their album Big Attraction/Giddy Up is an absolute blast, containing ten songs taken from their first two EPs. Total running time is twenty minutes and change.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Seven of the twenty minutes are taken up by opener “Balaclava Lover Boogie” and third track “Caltex Cowgirl”, with the 91 second missile “Blowjobs” in between. Balaclava and Cowgirl are easily the most complex and arguably best songs on the album, both receiving some nice production by Cal Newton.

“Mole (Sniff Sniff)” is 47 seconds of three chords whiplashing the listener to the ground.  “I Am Not A Loser” is one of the best punk songs of the last decade. Taylor sings “People look at me like I’m a hooker, but I just want to be a venue booker, I’m not a loser” while the boys echo back “She’s not a loser”.  The mosh pit should be girls only. 

Lead singer Amy Taylor looks like Yolandi Visser from Die Antwoord after she raided David Bowie’s wardrobe and hairstyle, with her white patent leather boots adding a few inches of height onto her petite frame. Backed by former housemates Bryce Wilson (drums), Dec Martens (guitar) and Gus Romer (bass), the foursome bring all kinds of influence.  Most obvious is their draw from The Sex Pistols, but listen closer and one can pull The Black Lips, Art Brut and The Breeders from their sound.

A band whose name comes from inhaling a psychoactive is the epitome of what punk rock is.  Unlike the progenitors of the genre, I have a feeling these kids know exactly what they are doing, and if they play their cards right, the next great punk band won’t be from NYC or London.  It’ll be, of all places, from Melbourne. 

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