Punk/Rock Why We Love

Why We Love: Amyl and The Sniffers

Australian pub-punk band Amyl and The Sniffers have quickly become one of the most talked-about underground bands of the year. When I first saw their electric yet unorthodox performance style on Jools Holland, which reminded me of watching an Iggy Pop performance, I had no idea what to make of this crazy looking bunch thrashing about in front of the BBC’s apparently paralytic studio audience. Something about this group just intrigued me from the get-go… maybe it was the hairstyles, but possibly also the singer Amy’s boots made completely out of gaffa tape wrapped around her ankles. I just had to know more about them, and after adding the song I had heard to my playlist, I then ended up listening to every one of their releases non-stop for that entire week.

Packed with fantastic punk attitudes, this band have quickly become a favourite, a group I’ve been telling everyone about, and those who hear them become just as hooked as I first did. The frontwoman of the band, Amy Taylor, has compared their music to the street drug Amyl after which the band takes their name; “In Australia we call poppers Amyl. So you sniff it, it lasts for 30 seconds and then you have a headache – and that’s what we’re like!” Frontwoman Amy is certainly one of the coolest rocking people on the planet today, a true queen of the modern punk world who I know has inspired many young women in London and across the world with her highly energetic, rebellious and empowering image.

The band have been touring Australia and America, primarily playing cult and punk festivals across the world, with appearances also at festivals throughout Europe this year. They formed in Melbourne, Australia, all close friends, writing and releasing their first EP, Giddy Up, in just 12 hours.

THIS is the true revival of punk, and nobody does it better today than Amyl and The Sniffers.

I leave you with their awesome lockdown cover of Peaches posted on their Instagram a few months back. This is one extraordinary band you’ll simply fall in love with, and who are worth every penny to see them at one of their fantastic, beer-soaked, sweat-drenched gigs. I can’t wait to see these guys back on stage where their flair truly comes alive.

Indie/Indie Rock Reviews

Review: Nothing But Thieves – Unperson

Nothing But Thieves have without a doubt been making their mark on the indie and rock scene since their self titled debut album in 2015, with Moral Panic their follow up to the bands 2017 album Broken Machine due for release in October this year. With the lead single Is Everybody Going Crazy? Being a fabulous alt rock anthem that really felt it was written with the worldwide pandemic in mind, and the indie ballad that was Real Love Song, showing again the new sounds to expect from the upcoming album, with tighter production, brilliant riffs and catchy hooks to obsess over. The band dropped the third single, and opening track of the upcoming album, Unperson at midnight and really shows the talent this band has to offer.

An absolute stomper that’s sure to end up in your playlists and be the soundtrack to your Autumn, something that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Hacienda type venue, but all the same fit right in with the hardcore scene of the last half decade. The boys behind the bangers are known for their quirky craftsmanship, with comparisons to Muse and Radiohead thrown around, and heavy hip hop inspiration within the rhythm sides of things. But Unperson shows the band expanding upon their well established sounds, with heavier hard rock guitars, electronic soundscapes, psychedelic undertones and RnB style vocals, when combined give an unmistakable Nothing But Thieves sound, but with a chaotic vibrant dystopian twist, harking more to the music embedded within a Sonic The Hedgehog game. But don’t let that fool you, this is not ‘background’ music, this is punchy, in your face rock, which makes you want to headbang and dance around your room like a young punkish Morrissey but minus the modern statements that make you question your parents record collection.

The statements written within the song see Conor Mason cry out about the abundance of people, in a modern world where demand beats supply not only with material goods, but with living, breathing people, making him question a godlike figure, convinced he’s an ‘unperson’, someone not fit for ‘public consumption’. With the internet and the millennial ‘woke’ culture, this feels like it reaches out for the kids lost in the mix, the people with desperate dissatisfaction with the world they live in, where good morals and right or wrong is too often brushed under the carpet, leaving you a whimper in a crowd, referencing being ‘another clone of a clone’ and how they ‘didn’t sign up for this’ The song reeks of the frustration of the young voices being drowned out by regressive ideology, and it’s fantastic, making it so much more impactful that way. It’s a statement begging to be heard and it definitely leaves its mark.

The song may have just dropped, but it passive aggressively invites you to come in, and really listen to what it has to say, ‘This is not what you think it is, it’s worse’, alluding to the change that is inevitable to come, which may even hint towards the changes within the bands sound too, not just it’s social commentary. Another absolutely menacing track, that leaves you grinning in suspense for the release of the album on October 23rd.

Punk/Rock Why We Love

Why we love: Fontaines D.C.

It would be a bold statement to compare any band to music legends such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth or The Cure, but let me say this – I think Fontaines D.C. are one of the most exciting bands to form in a long time.

In 2017, while studying music in Dublin, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, Conor Deegan, Grian Chatten, and Tom Coll quickly bonded over a love of poetry and together, soon began turning that common interest into music.

After they started gigging as simply ‘Fontaines’, they quickly learnt of another band with that name and so added the D.C (Dublin City).

The band signed to Partisan Records and their debut album Dogrel was released in April 2019 to much critical acclaim, earning them a nomination for a Mercury Prize, a Choice Music Prize and many more titles rarely held by such a young band.

Their second studio album, A Hero’s Death, was just released in July 2020 to just as much praise from fans.

I love a band who sing in their own accents, and their roots and common interest in poetry which brought the boys together certainly sets this band apart from the rest for their intelligent lyrics – something which seems to be underestimated today but reminds me strongly of the origins of Joy Division and Ian Curtis’ attitudes to love and loss in ‘70s working-class Manchester. I recently took a trip to Dublin and stayed not far from where singer Grian Chatten had grown up. The similarities I recognised between Dublin and Manchester in terms of the people’s music culture and pride for their city became very clear to see – evidently, this dynamic has produced many great bands in both these areas.

Being stuck inside during the recent pandemic has been difficult for a lot of bands, and cancelling the tour of their new album was never going to be easy. But it seems that the band have been busier than ever, releasing a fantastic cover of Darklands, directing their own music video for their recent release and most interesting of all, creating Spotify playlists comprised of their many influences which I’ve not been able to stop listening to.

With a wide taste in music, bringing together the best of rock, punk, indie and more, it’s easy to see where the inspiration for their own great songs have come from, and the genius of bands from before their time is certainly reflected in their music today.

These boys flying the flag for Dublin have seemingly captured the attention of an audience not only their own age, but the generation that came before them too – the ones who grew up seeing those great bands, and who are now reliving their 20’s. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve seen gigs where my own friends, the ‘younger’ generation are standing alongside people their parents’ age. That’s exactly what truly good music should do.

It’s incredibly refreshing to see a band drawing so heavily on the influence of much older bands, but doing so in their own very unique way. I’d go so far as to say that If these boys had been around in the ’90s, they might now have the same legendary status as some of the bands they look up to, and there’s absolutely no reason why they couldn’t still put themselves up there.

I’ve already seen how far these guys have come over the last year since I first heard them on the radio, and I’m excited to see where they go next. In a lot of ways, it feels like watching one of my favourite 80’s rock bands form before my very eyes.

The next time you see them playing near you, I strongly advise you to get out there, there are not many people I can safely say will go down in music history, but Fontaines D.C. will be one you’ll be telling your grandkids about.

Their new album ‘A Hero’s Death’ is available now.

Indie/Indie Rock Videos

This is what it’s like to play Wembley Arena (The Night Cafe: Tonight at Wembley)

UK band The Night Café are about to play Wembley Arena for the very first time alongside one of Britain’s biggest bands. Tonight at Wembley, directed by James George Potter and Dora Paphides, explores the unique backstage life of four lads from Liverpool about to play the 12,500 seat sold-out arena alongside The Wombats.

Indie/Indie Rock Videos

Making it in The Music Industry: BLOXX

Back in 2018, we spoke to the band BLOXX about how they went from four best friends to selling out music venues and headlining their own tours. They gave us their advice for young bands starting out.

Director: James George Potter
Camera: Eric Anderson

Indie/Indie Rock Videos

George Ezra talks about Mental Health in the Music Industry

George Ezra talks about his own experiences with Mental Health within the music industry.

Directed by James George Potter
Camera: Eric Anderson