Bless the punk heavens and praise the mullet Gods for we have an Amyl and The Sniffers’ debut album. The Queen of punk and her sniffers have composed a straight up, short and sharp album and it has been on repeat since it was released. If you like one song you’ll like them all. The album from start to finish retains the same fiery pace you want it to. You can close your eyes and imagine you’re in your mate’s garage listening to your friends jamming out. It’s unsophisticated in the best way.
Amy Taylor, the lead singer is “Gacked On Anger” and the lyrics easily explain why; “I’m working off my ass every single day for the minimum wage”. The lyrics in this album portray a clear message as to what the meaning of the songs are. There is no bullshit, no mystical questioning of ‘what could this song be about’, you know exactly what point Amy is trying to get across in each song, there’s no room for your own interpretation. Basically, just shut up and listen to what she has to say.
“GFY” is a brief but piercing expression of punk rage. Considering the song stands for go fuck yourself, It’s a pocket rocket of a song that will add fire to your flame. The album uses the resources of repetitive lyrics and chanting back vocals excellently. Although not the most technical album, Amyl and The Sniffers have produced a really strong group of songs. “Monsoon Rock” is like “Eagle Rock” but not alike at all and is a good song. There are no rules when it comes to this band, they come up with what they come up with and it just works.
Amyl and The Sniffers hold much greater importance than just providing us with riot tunes. They are so themselves and it is refreshingly inspiring. Amy Taylor represents the sickest of the sick leading women in the music industry right now. She is absolutely doing whatever the f**k she wants and making waves in the punk scene. She is not to be messed with. She takes complete control when on stage and has a raw, unprocessed voice. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and it’s really motivating to see as a woman. Amyl and The Sniffers are Melbourne punk royalty, and this album just nails this reputation on the head.
Hatchie – Keepsake
Keepsake, the debut album by Brisbane dream pop artist Hatchie is musical luminescence that can only be described as music written for the stars
Brisbane indie-pop artist Hatchie (known to her friends and family as Harriette Pilbeam) is in the envious position of being a pop artist unspoiled by the many trappings of what it is to be a modern pop artist. Unlike some of her contemporaries who craft music by committee or with Sheeran-like self-importance, Hatchie is as of now, unsullied by the pressures of the cookie-cutter pop machine. Hatchie’s debut full length is a showcase for a talent who is supremely confident and composed in her abilities, and Keepsake is musical luminescence that can only be described as music written for the stars. The album is also a wonderful throwback to pop’s dreamy 60s influences that shuffle in and out of this delirium while working alongside distinctly more current musical touches.
There is the lush dream pop sounds of “Without a Blush”, taking cues from the best of what Stars and Goldfrapp conjure but heaping a tonne of Pilbeam’s charisma on it. Like her vocals, “Without a Blush” has this elegance that has the ability to elevate songs from being beautiful to grand. It is the kind of vocal elegance that really shines through on songs like the skittering, beat-driven “Obsessed” and the alternative, guitar-fuelled (yay!) “When I Get Out”. Indie/electronic closer “Keep” is a wonderful end to proceedings.
However, the great strength of Keepsake is not just its composure in how all the songs have been put together. It is also this genuine, natural-sounding quality that permeates the album- nothing overly written, overly produced or put together by research groups or music analysts. It just sounds like talent. We can argue that much of pop music is constructed to appease the moment- designed to grab as much attention as possible in an A.D.D. world. And sure, that can be said about almost any kind of music, but the resulting aural tone of Keepsake is anything but transient or transparent.
The best way to combat tepid chart-topping music is to write better pop songs. Songs like “Her Own Heart” and the disco-toned “Stay” are examples of pop music that come across as timeless. We are moved by the songs found on Keepsake when we listen to them today. And I suspect that in 10 years time, or in 20, we will most likely feel the same. It is rare to find the sort of ageless beauty you find on Keepsake.